Read­ing Time: 2 minutes


This Sunday Gos­pel read­ing is a con­tinu­ation of Jesus’ Ser­mon on the Mount (Matt 5–7). After declar­ing blessed or for­tu­nate those who are poor in spir­it; those who are humble/gentle; those who mourn; those who hun­ger and thirst for what is right; those who are mer­ci­ful; those who are pure in heart; those who make peace; and those who are per­se­cuted for doing right, Jesus went on and reminded the dis­ciples that they are or rather, that they should be salt of the earth and light of and in the world. As salt and light, they should give good taste to people and light their lives as well.……

The Salt of the Earth

In the first cen­tury of the Middle East, salt served two pur­poses. Firstly, it was used to pre­serve food and oth­er edibles since there were no freez­ers. Secondly, it served as food ingredi­ent, adding fla­vour to the food. Although salt could also be used as fer­til­izer, usu­ally, it was and it is still used to sea­son and pre­serve food. Hence, if salt ceases to be use­ful, it is simply thrown away. As salt, the dis­ciples and every Chris­ti­an should be pre­ser­vat­ives first to them­selves, and then, to oth­ers. They are to pre­serve them­selves and oth­ers from god­less­ness, sin and cor­rup­tion (cf. Ps 14:3; Rom 8:8). Similarly.….……

A per­son loses his or her salt­i­ness when he or she loses his iden­tity. That is, when the per­son gets rid of that which makes him or her what he or she is. A lead­er (civil or reli­gious) loses his or her cred­ib­il­ity (salt­i­ness) when he or she loses that which spe­cific­ally makes him or her a lead­er. We have instances both in the Bible and in our vari­ous soci­et­ies of people who lost and who have lost their fla­vour, begin­ning from those in the pos­i­tions of power and authority.….….…..

The Light of the World

In the Gos­pel con­text, light means vis­ib­il­ity, truth­ful­ness, faith­ful­ness, upright­ness, con­stancy, straight­for­ward­ness, sens­it­iv­ity, and justice. Hence, as light, the dis­ciples (and Chris­ti­ans) should illu­min­ate the life of the people (cf. Luke 2:32). They should always remem­ber Jesus’ words as cited above, that he is the light of the world, and who­ever wishes not to be in dark­ness but to pos­sess the light of life, should fol­low him. Now, fol­low­ing him is not just pro­fess­ing merely with our lips that he is the lord, but put­ting into prac­tice his teach­ings as recor­ded in the Gos­pels. Although God cre­ated two kinds of lights (cf. Gen 1:16), their func­tion how­ever, is to gov­ern or illu­mine the day (the big­ger light) and the night (the smal­ler light). A per­son who is light is a per­son who is con­spicu­ous or noteworthy.…..


The prac­tic­al way to be salt and light to the world is to fol­low Isaiah’s advice to share what we have with the needy, to shel­ter the home­less, to cloth the naked, and to give relief to the oppressed (cf. First Read­ing). Only the godly and those who fear the Lord can accom­plish this (cf. Ps 112). A true dis­ciple is one whose faith does not depend on human philo­sophy, but on the power of God (cf. Second Read­ing). A true believ­er is one who pre­serves and enhances the life of oth­ers because his or her own life is already pre­served and enhanced. Accord­ing to Mark, one pos­sible way of los­ing salt­i­ness is due to lack of peace (cf. Mark 9:50). There­fore, I wish you peace always! Wel­come to the month of Feb­ru­ary. Shalom!

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