(Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, February 5, 2017.
We are “the salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14). Now, do we believe it?
What does it mean to be the salt of the earth?
It means that every person has the ability to bring about goodness to humanity, to develop the universal human community living in unity and freedom.
This is how the earth is “seasoned” by the “salt of the earth”: by “setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own, [on your fellow human beings]” (Isaiah 58:6-7).
What does it mean to be the light of the world?
It means that every person who lives in accordance with the goodness of his human nature has the capacity to be a luminous example of life to the world.
Nothing can remain in darkness when people live the goodness of their nature; they are shining lights when they live in unity and freedom.
“A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). Likewise, the goodness of men, created in the very image of God, cannot be hidden.
Those who are the light of the world “shine through the darkness, a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful and just. All goes well for those… who conduct their affairs with justice (Psalm 112:4-5).
What happens when men fail to live as “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”?
They lose their quality of being human because they lose their freedom, unity, and equality. This failure causes them to destroy their very human dignity.
“But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13). If man fails to live in accordance with his own human nature, what is his life good for? It is good for nothing; it becomes the cause of his downfall.
Modesty aside, we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco).