JUNE 8. Ord Time B. Wk.10 Tue. Mt. 5. 13-16
Updated: Jun 8
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.’
Salt and Light were both essential requirements for living in the time of Christ with salt being a preservative and light being essential for living at night.
But in this reading Christ is transferring these two basic needs to the spiritual needs of the world, via two phases with very similar meaning; - “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.”
The implication being the earth and the world need people prepared to bear witness to the teachings of Christ; - as that this is the means by which Christ’s “Kingdom” is to be spread.
As Christians we have a wonderful gift in our Faith; - but Faith is something we are called to give witness in the public arena; - so non-believers are able to “see” our Faith in the way we live our daily lives!
This public witness was to be the primary means by which Christ’s teachings would be spread throughout the world; - a truth evident in today’s secular world where less and less people have Faith; - with one reason being that so many of us see our Faith as something “private”?
But the truth is it is simply not possible to live the Christian Faith “privately” as it makes too many demands of us contrary to the “ways of the world”, such as detachment, charity, self-denial, generosity, mercy, compassion, faithfulness, prayer, purity, to name just a few.
All of which being values that we are called to bear witness to in both our words and actions.
In considering this reading it is also important to be aware of the context in which Christ gave this teaching, in that it was given within the Sermon on the Mount where he “spelt out” what is involved in living the Christian Faith.
There are numerous “teachings” and “signs” of the Christian Faith contained within the Sermon, (Matthew Ch’s 5-7) where Christ outlined the fundamentals of being a Christian, and each and every one of them needs to be lived within one’s day to day life, which is why the Sermon on the Mount holds such an important place in the Gospels.
It can legitimately be referred to as the centrepiece of Christ’s teachings as it brings them all together and itemises what is required in order to be a true follower of Christ.
One of the dangers for Christians however is an inclination to choose those parts of Christ’s teachings that are in accord with our desires and interests, and to neglect those teachings which we do not “like” or which make demands of us.
The tragedy that results is such a life is neither the light of the world, nor the salt of the earth!
Gospel Acclamation Mt5:16
Let your light shine before all,
that they may see your good works and glorify your Father.