You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead, it is put on a lamp stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do, and praise your Father in heaven.
One of the functions of salt is to preserve meat from decomposing. In today’s gospel reading Jesus tells us that we, Christians, play an essential role among the peoples of the world by keeping them from spoiling, from rotting. But he also warns us about the danger of losing our saltiness, of becoming tasteless. How can that happen? By compromising with the world and its values, by becoming so much like the world that we will not be able to preserve it from decomposition.
In what concrete positive ways can Christians today be salt of the earth and light of the world? By proposing the values of the Gospel and thus not letting human societies become satisfied with mediocrity. That means proposing love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of vengeance, non-violence instead of violence, unity instead of division, generosity and service instead of selfishness, faithfulness instead of betrayal, chastity instead of promiscuity, honesty instead of dishonesty, permanent marriage instead of divorce, respect for life instead of abortion, etc. But all this should be done more by example than by moralizing sermons. We should show by our whole attitude that life is more tasty when people are honest, reliable, candid, etc.
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