Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16 Reflection:
Over the next couple of weeks the gospel of the day is taken from the Sermon on the Mount. This phase began yesterday with the reading of the beatitudes. Today we move on to the next few verses of chapter 5 where Jesus tells the disciples that they are to be the salt of the earth.
‘You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.’
In the next verse he tells us to be the light of the world and that our light should not be hidden under a lampstand. These are challenging words. Jesus is calling on us to profess our faith in him both by our actions and our words.
This is not an easy call. We are expected to be examples of Christian living to those around us and we often fall short of the mark. And yet Jesus expects us to be some sort of beacon for the people we meet in life. Perhaps he wants us not so much to show how holy we are or how good we are, but to show that joy which is the mark of the Christian.
Over the years I have come to learn that this is the great mark of the person who loves God: they may be far short of the Christian ideal but there is something inside us that lets us know that no matter what happens there is a God who loves us. The effect of this is that we have joy in our hearts.
This joy is what attracts people, not rules and regulations or obedience to stern laws.