1 Kings 17:7-16
Ps 4:2-5, 7-8
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
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.”
Good News Reflection: Are you flavoring others?
In today’s Gospel reading, what does Jesus mean by calling us “salt”? Think about what salt does. It adds flavor to foods that lack sufficient taste.
Jesus also raises the point that if we lose our flavor, how can it be restored? The answer is: Only by letting God renew us.
As Christians, we have been made flavorful, that is to say, we have within us the fullness of the life of God’s Holy Spirit. The useful Christian is one who evangelizes by adding the seasoning of Christ’s love to other people’s lives. But beware of trying too hard! What happens when food is over-salted? It tastes horrible. No matter how good our intentions might be, if we come on too strong, we do more harm than good.
People are much more likely to turn to Jesus if they first experience his love through us. They need to discover that he loves them just the way they are, that he is gentle but sincere when inviting them to grow, and that he serves them in their needs. We who are alive in the Holy Spirit are called to season their lives with this love.
To flavor the lives of others with Jesus’ love, we have to let his light shine in us. We have to be so lit up by Christ that others cannot help but notice. The warm glow of Jesus should be what others see when they look at us. This happens when we love them unconditionally, patiently, full of kindness and caring, while not hiding our relationship with Jesus.
What obstructs the light of Christ that glows within you? If people are not meeting Jesus through us, we need to ask the Holy Spirit why. What are they seeing instead? Is it something we need to change within ourselves? As the Lord reveals the obstructions, the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist will fill us with the graces we need to return to the full brightness of the light.
Additionally, Jesus says that we have to be a “city.” We cannot evangelize alone. A city is a group of Christians: a parish, a family, a church organization. Being Christian means being in community. When our light is joined to the light of others, our collective glow is much more effective in revealing the love of Christ to the world. Why? Because non-believers learn that the love of Christ is real when they see us living in love with each other (see Acts 2:42-47).
Being a city is also necessary because it’s how we become convinced that we ourselves are truly loved. We are the light of Christ for each other. We are his love given to each other. We are seasoning for each other. Without each other, our light dims, our flavor fades, and we become useless to the kingdom of God.
For a hand-out on this, please see it professionally published at Catholic Digital Resources:catholicdr.com/evangelaids/salt.htm
For a Bible Study on the entire Sermon on the Mount, visit: catholicdr.com/e-books/holy-living-bible-study/
Thank You, my Lord, for Your Spirit that shines in me. May my works delight You and transmit, around me, the joy of following You. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica