DAILY GOSPEL COMMENTARY:
SALT OF THE EARTH (Mt 5:13-16).
Gospel of Tuesday, 10th week of Ordinary Time.
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
FROM POPE FRANCIS
In this Sunday’s Gospel passage, immediately after the Beatitudes, Jesus says to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world” (Mt 5:13-14). This surprises us a bit when we think of those who were before Jesus when he spoke these words. Who were these disciples? They were fishermen, simple people… But Jesus sees them with God’s eyes, and his assertion can be understood precisely as a result of the Beatitudes. He wishes to say: if you are poor in spirit, if you are meek, if you are pure of heart, if you are merciful… you will be the salt of the earth and the light of the world!
To better understand these images, we must keep in mind that Jewish Law prescribed that a little bit of salt be sprinkled over every offering presented to God, as a sign of the covenant. Light for Israel was a symbol of messianic revelation, triumph over the darkness of paganism. Christians, the new Israel, receive a mission to carry into the world for all men: through faith and charity they can guide, consecrate, and make humanity fruitful. We who are baptized Christians are missionary disciples and we are called to become a living Gospel in the world: with a holy life we will “flavour” different environments and defend them from decay, as salt does; and we will carry the light of Christ through the witness of genuine charity. But if we Christians lose this flavour and do not live as salt and light, we lose our effectiveness. This mission of giving light to the world is so beautiful! We have this mission, and it is beautiful! It is also beautiful to keep the light we have received from Jesus, protecting it and safeguarding it. The Christian should be a luminous person; one who brings light, who always gives off light! A light that is not his, but a gift from God, a gift from Jesus. We carry this light. If a Christian extinguishes this light, his life has no meaning: he is a Christian by name only, who does not carry light; his life has no meaning. I would like to ask you now, how do you want to live? As a lamp that is burning or one that is not? Burning or not? How would you like to live? [The people respond: Burning!] As burning lamps! It is truly God who gives us this light and we must give it to others. Shining lamps! This is the Christian vocation
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL
In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about salt and light.
Salt has more than 14,000 uses. It makes up 0.4% of our body. It was used like money in the olden times and there are still some who use it as currency, just like the nomads of Ethiopia. Salt is a valuable resource. Just like us in the eyes of God.
We know that Salt is used:
• To ENHANCE the taste of food
• To PRESERVE food
• To PURIFY everything
Like salt, we must also
• Enhance the quality of life of others by bringing out the goodness in them
• Preserve our calling to holiness through our love of God and love of neighbor. We give of ourselves and forgive one another, we help wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return, we do not judge others and we do not spread gossip or slander them. We accept people for who they are.
• Purify others through our staunch defense of what is right in the eyes of God. We cannot stay cozy with people who we know are doing wrong and sinful things; we must stand by what is true, what is good and what is right. Correcting them lovingly is the right thing to do with aid from the Holy Spirit as we do so.
Like light, we must shine brightly –
• While Jesus is the real light of the world, we are asked to reflect that light to others through our words and deeds, our choices and lifestyle, even our disposition when we are in front of others – dirty or green jokes, bullying both physically and on the internet, a condescending attitude towards others such as rascism and discrimination
Like a city on top of a mountain and light seen and not hidden under a bushel basket, everyone must see our acts of kindness, generosity, goodness and love.
But people who see our goodness must be led to attribute it to God and not us.
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