Last Sunday, if you remember, we heard Jesus’ presentation of the Beatitudes, the blessing of various qualities of character and spirit that are good both for now and the future. Today, in the first reading from Isaiah, we heard very specific guidance about sheltering the homeless, sharing bread with the hungry and more.
And now, in the Gospel, Jesus’ wisdom teaching is to be salt AND light for the world. Jesus uses these features of everyday life as metaphors for the kind of disciples he’s looking for.
To be salt is to enhance, to make a positive difference, to help, to take our part, to be of assistance.
To be light is to be open and available and transparent, ready to give witness.
Without light, our salt can just become unknown service. Without salt, our light can be superficial and self-referential. But together, to be salt and light for God’s glory and the good of our neighbor is the measure of discipleship. We build up our community with good works, and we can point to Jesus as the reason for our good works. Just as actual salt and light are gifts received, those who live as salt and light in Christ will be gifts given back to God and others.