Salt and light are two excellent images for use in our scripture meditation today. Let’s approach them this way: what are two things that we take for granted, two things that we really need – one to survive, and the other to boost the quality of our life? Salt and light! We can’t live without salt in our diet; and sunlight or artificial light certainly helps us live our life more comfortably. The vision-impaired should be admired,
for the way they adapt as well as they can, and sharpen their other senses as a way of making up for this in their lives.
This is not about fancy medical terms which were unknown in Jesus’ time. It is simply this practical matter: If salt could ever lose its “saltiness” or taste, it would become useless to us. Food would not taste the same, and salt could not even be used as a catalyst for earthen oven floors. We would need to dispose of the worthless salt. Similarly, If we hide a lamp under a basket, it becomes useless to us and we would, in effect, become vision-impaired to a certain degree. (It would also be an act of clear stupidity).
That’s the point Jesus is making: if you do not live out your Christianity then you are sort of useless and even stupid! Everyone ought to be able to see your virtues being normally used for the benefit of others. The first reading (Isaiah 58:7-10) is right on target with a great example of “using your light”: share your bread with the hungry! If we regularly help the poor, even if anonymously, then we are living out a virtue—a spiritual attitude that will help us grow in all of the virtues, and that will be reflected in our daily relationships with others.
At our baptism we were given a lighted candle to remind you of your duty and responsibility to BE the light of Christ
in the world and we should never forget that through our baptism our mission is to BE the salt and light of the world.