by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich
Our Gospel for this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time has Jesus speaking to his followers about how they are "salt of the earth" and "light of the world." In the time of Jesus salt was used for preserving, for seasoning and for purifying. It was used as well in liturgical functions as shown in the Book of Exodus 30:35, "This fragrant powder, expertly prepared, is to be salted and so kept pure and sacred." It was believed that eating salt with someone showed a bond of friendship and loyalty. The symbol of salt had many meanings for Jesus' followers.
The image of light called the disciples to "shine" with the radiance of God's love and grace. Jesus seems to be reminding the disciples that their actions should point people toward God as a light points the way in the darkness.
What do these images mean for us? What do they say to us abut discipleship? As "salt" and "light" we can influence the whole world, not drawing attention to ourselves. Salt is most effective when it's unnoticed in food. A lamp allows us to see other objects. How will we be the salt that flavors the world with kindness and compassion? How will we be the light that helps others find their way to our loving God?
Thanks, Lynne Marie! Your 2 questions will be my food for thought this week.
Beautiful reflection. The light reminded me of the beautiful sunshine that comes in our south window lighting up this long winter. God's light makes it all seem beautiful.
Sister, I pray that you are salt and light for the people to whom you minister.