People have gathered around Jesus - Matthew says that it’s on a hillside – and Jesus is teaching the people. He has just told them about how blessed the poor are and how they should rejoice because the Kingdom of heaven is theirs. He then looks at them intensely and says: “You are the salt of the earth; what good is salt if it has lost its taste? And what good is a light if it’s hidden under a basket? You are the light of the world…”
This is a great message and I like it because it is not a particularly religious message. It’s not a hokey message about love and it doesn’t even mention God or sin or morality – it’s very secular.
We live in a world that is quite often in darkness – just think of what’s happening in Egypt now – many people’s lives are shrouded in darkness; because of addiction, abuse, despair, fear, suffering, illness, loneliness – and how do we combat that darkness? With light. Easy.
But you know, that may be the extreme, I actually think that most people are not in some desperate darkness – most people just go through life, from day to day, trapped in the mundane-ness of life, like that movie Groundhog Day, over and over the same routines, the same ordinary existence. They are good people and maybe they’re even happy, but their lives have lost meaning, they’ve lost purpose and drive: they’ve lost their taste. It is these bland lives that need flavour, spice, excitement, warmth, direction. How do we give them that? With salt. Salt is the flavour that spices up life. But not a lot of salt is needed, just a dash – and not a lot of light is needed to dispel the darkness, just one match…
And this is a message that can be shared in any public school, it can be displayed in any government building, because it’s a secular message (take that separation of Church and State) and so, on this 5th week in ordinary time, let’s make it extra-ordinary time: Join us as we season the world with the flavour of the Gospel and may our lives be shining examples of Jesus Christ, who is the true light of the world.
CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec