“You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world”
These famous words from Matthew’s Gospel describing true discipleship became the theme of World Youth Day Toronto 2002, and subsequently the mission statement for our TV and media network. (No pressure!)
For the past fifteen years, producers and directors at Salt+Light have been on the lookout for great stories to share. In my time here, I’ve found myself becoming more “tuned in” to the “salt” and “light” around me than I ever was before. Sometimes when I meet a wonderful person for the first time I begin writing a script in my mind without even realizing it! A light must be set on a lampstand, where it can give light to all in the house, Jesus tells us. (Mt 5:15)
This passage makes me reflect on the “salt” and “light” I encounter in others: that rich flavour of the Gospel which brings contagious joy, that radiating yet peaceful light which warms hearts and helps us see the mystery of our own existence a bit more clearly.
Salt and light are uncomplicated things. When we meet these individuals, we know it. They are humble and attentive listeners. They do not judge or compartmentalize others—not that they are unable to, just that it doesn’t even occur to them. They openly acknowledge their own weaknesses, and when they must lead, they do so quietly and collaboratively. They are aware of the effect they have on others, but they are not self-absorbed in the least. When they walk into the room or join the conversation, we feel peaceful and smile instinctively.
“I wonder what it’s like to be her,” we ask ourselves, until we can grasp the real difference between us: that what we see in them, they see in us and others.
Thomas Merton famously wrote, “There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.” We may not experience such an epiphany in our lifetime, but we know “salt” and “light” when we see it. So today, in celebration of our 15th anniversary
kick-off, let’s tell someone in our lives they are what God made them to be: shining like the sun.
Sebastian Gomes, “On the lookout for salt and light,” adapted from a reflection that originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Give Us This Day, www.giveusthisday.org (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2018). Used with permission.