Salting The Earth
Daily Reflection – 6/11/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” ( Matthew 5:13-16)
As a follower of Jesus living the beatitudes, each of us matters. We have an important role to play because we are the salt of the earth. Salt preserves and Christians help preserve what is good in the culture. Salt to be effective, must be in contact with the substance it is to preserve. To be effective, we must be involved where we work and where we live. This puts us in a tension because the dominant culture doesn’t necessarily like us. And withdrawing from the world is no answer for Christians.
We can best be preservation for the world by living the Word of God and teaching it to others within the communities of the world. This is a call to mission, not just to self-improvement.
Jesus calls us to perseverance, warning about what happens when “salt loses its flavor” — it becomes without value at all, neither for flavor or for salvation, and then becomes if anything an impediment to the mission.
What is the mission that to which Jesus called His church, His people, the “salt of the earth”? Jesus explains in this same Gospel; we are called to be “the light of the world,” and most pointedly “a city set on a mountain.”
We do that, each in our own way, by spreading out across the earth on the mission of salvation, “salting” it with the light of salvation. “Your light must shine before others,” Jesus says, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
How do we accomplish that ? The prophet Isaiah tells Israel that the Lord has commanded them to share what they have to the hungry, give refuge to the oppressed and homeless, clothe the naked, and take care of those in our own communities too. If we do that, Isaiah prophesies, “then light shall rise for us in the darkness.”
We are called to be the salt of the earth, a city on a mountain, and to spread the light of the Word to all people — not as ways to aggrandize ourselves, but to lead people to the glory of God. We are not the flavor, but the catalyst for the flavor to emerge.
We are not salvation, but the servants of salvation. And those who allow themselves to become instruments of the Lord’s will become treasures of His heart — the children of God.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, you have given me everything I need to be faithful. Grant me also the courage and the zeal to live what I believe and to testify to your faithful love in my thoughts, words and actions.
We are recognizable as true disciples of Him who is Light of the world, not in words, but by our works. In fact, it is above all our behavior that — in the good and in the bad – leaves a sign in others. So we have a task and a responsibility for the gift received: the light of faith, which is in us through Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit, we must not keep as if it were our property. Instead, we are called to make it shine in the world, to give it to others through good works.
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