February 5, 2023: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
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.”
As disciples of Jesus, this selection from Matthew’s Gospel is addressed to us and not just to those present with him some two thousand years ago. We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world.
Jesus used salt and light, things familiar at the time and also to us today, to illustrate not only our value as his followers but our responsibility as well. Salt highlights and enhances the flavor of many foods. It is an essential element in our body and on this planet earth. Before the introduction of refrigeration, it was also essential to the preservation of food. Light is essential too. It makes our lives livable indoors when there is no source of natural light. It’s also essential to our health and to growing much of our food.
Jesus often taught the importance of goodness, generosity, care and concern for others, and love. Love of God and love of neighbor. By witnessing Jesus’ message to the world, we flavor the lives of others and illuminate a world often filled with darkness.
Consider how you might flavor and illuminate the life of another. Is there someone you know who needs you to be salt and light? Someone who needs you to bring the love of God within you to them by demonstrating love of neighbor? Reach out to that person and share the love of Jesus by helping them as needed or by simply being present to them.