In the first reading the prophet Isiah proclaims: “Thus says the Lord: share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless”, and Psalm 112 says that the just person is a light in the darkness!
In the Gospel, Jesus challenges his disciples to let their light shine, to be like beacons lighting a city on a hillside! And, by allowing their light to shine they will lead others to see their good deeds and thus see the glory of God.
So through doing good we both give glory to God and show forth the glory of God. Jesus also uses the metaphor of salt for the lives of the disciples and challenges them to be sure to not let their lives “lose their flavor” and become tasteless. It is interesting to note that in the ancient world, a world without refrigeration, salt was the only way to preserve fish and meat.
Just as light is essential for life to exist, so too, salt was crucial for survival! So comparing the disciple’s lives to salt had multiple layers of understanding and significance.
What is clear is that Jesus is calling the disciples to be on guard to make sure that the manner in which they live
their lives “shine” with the “light of the Gospel values”; that their lives were to be lived in such a manner that they have the “flavor of the Gospel.” So, we too, as disciples of Jesus, are called to the same -- to let our lives “shine” and to be sure that our lives “taste” of the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As so often is said, the call to discipleship is no easy call. It is difficult and challenging. But, we do not respond alone because by virtue of our Baptism we are strengthened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
It is this Spirit, the Spirit of God, living within each one of us, that emboldens us and impels us to go forth into the darkness of our world and to let our light shine -- to share our bread with the hungry and to shelter the oppressed, the immigrant and refugee. Filled with the holy Spirit, let us stand up and call out systemic racism in all its forms and in all the places it dwells and creates and allows for violence against the lives and bodies of our black and brown sisters and brothers! And may we all fight to create the freedom from violence and poverty so that all may live as the children of the Light!
How will I let my light shine this week? What areas of my life most “taste” like the Gospel?