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Tag Archives: SALT OF THE EARTH

MATTHEW 5:16 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16)

Jakarta, 7 June 2022

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MATTHEW 5:16 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16)

Jakarta, 8 June 2021

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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MATTHEW 5:13 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16)

Jakarta, 9 June 2020

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JESUS CALLS HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

JESUS CALLS HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS

THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

(A biblical refection on THE 5th ORDINARY SUNDAY (YEAR A), 9 February 2020 )

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16 

First Reading: Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalms: Psalm 112:4-8a,9; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 2:1-5 

The Scripture Text

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 RSV)

Jesus Christ calls His true followers the “salt of the earth”, and the “light of the world”. These are titles of honor, surely, and of the greatest distinction. Jesus is putting His true followers on almost a level with Himself. He was the light of the world; he was the salt of earth. He was the one who gave men the knowledge of the true nature of God, as shown by the Incarnation. He was the one who gave this life its flavor, who gave life its meaning, its preservation. By His death and resurrection He took away the sting of death, and removed its eternal corruption, by the guarantee and promise of a resurrection to an eternal life.

This every Christian knows, and this knowledge every Christian helps to bring to those who are ignorant of it, if he lives his Christian life daily and sincerely. The Christian who does this, is really another Christ; he is continuing His work of salvation during His years on earth. He is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. How many of us, however, can truly say that these honorable titles, which Jesus Christ gives to His followers, are given to us?

In true humility, we can all say that we are far from worthy of any such honorable titles. Yet in all sincerity too, many if not the majority among us, are doing their bit of Christ’s work, in cultivating their own small corner of His vineyard. The parents who teach the Christian way of life to their children by word, and especially by example, are spreading the Christian faith. The workmen, whether in office or factory, who show that they are Christians by their honesty, charity for their fellowmen, their respect for God, and the things of God, in their speech, are spreading their Christian faith. All those who show moderation in their personal expenditures, and donate some of their savings to help their sisters and/or brothers, their fellowmen who are in need, these are true disciples of Christ and are cooperating with Him in bringing God’s children back to their Father who is in heaven.

Unlike the salt that has lost its flavor, and the light that is kept under the bushel, the Christian who has thus behaved can change his attitude, provided he is aided by God’s grace which is never refused. He can become once more what he ought to be – a life-preserver for his neighbor.

Life on earth is short. The demands of our Christian life may not always be easy, but we know that if we live up to them, we are other Christs. We are continuing His great work by our own good example to our neighbor, and we are giving glory to God, and are earning for ourselves the eternal light of heaven.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit, remind us always about our dignity as Christians, meaning the followers or disciples of Christ. Amen.

Jakarta, 8 February 2020 

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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SALT OF THE EARTH AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Today’s Gospel Reading:  Matthew 5:13-16 – TENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Jesus speaks of salt and light. A disciples of Jesus is to be salt and light for the world around her/him. If we refuse to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, our faith can easily become vulgarized into harmless chocolate images of Christ and religious scenes painted on dinner plates – the harmless artifacts of a faith with all the backbone of a seedless grape.

If Christians have the same crime and divorce rates as everyone else, perhaps we are losing our power to witness. In a culture as ours, we can easily fall into the trap of assimilating popular cultural values while retaining the semblance of Christian identity only in vocabulary and ceremony. The Christians who have most deeply impressed us are generally not those who lead crusades. It is the incidental assist at a roadside or supermarket that leaves a powerfully memorable witness.

Like salt and light, our faith is most operative when it is part of the everyday texture of our lives.

Jakarta, 12 June 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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“SALT AND LIGHT”: 5th ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR A] – MATTHEW 5:13-16

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Jakarta, 5 February 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in DISCIPLESHIP, MISCELLANY

 

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THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

(A biblical refection on THE 5th ORDINARY SUNDAY (YEAR A), 5 February 2017)

 sermon_on_the_mount

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16 

First Reading: Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalms: Psalm 112:4-9; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 2:1-5 

The Scripture Text

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:13-16 RSV)

Jesus was a successful teacher/rabbi because He always grabbed the attention of His audience by talking about something that was a big part of their lives. Many of Jesus’ parables were stories about fishing, farming, and herding because those were the three main occupations in his days. Jesus knew people were bound to listen a little more attentively when He began talking about something they knew very well.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about salt and light because He is probably trying  to get the attention of the women in His audience. The salt Jesus talks about was much like rock salt. Jewish women wrapped salt in a clean cloth and dangled it in a boiling pot of soup. When the soup was ready, they took the salt that did not dissolve and saved it for the next time they needed it. After the cook did this on several occasions, the salt lost its flavour and was only good for throwing on the wet cobblestone walks after a rainstorm. This made the cobblestones less slick.

Salt was also a preservative. Freshly slaughtered meat sold in the open air markets did not last long in the Palestinian heat unless it was salted. Like refrigeration today, salt prevented food from spoiling.

In ancient Palestine, the ordinary family lived in a one-room house illuminated in the evening by a single oil lamp on a stand. Making sure there was enough oil for the lamp was the woman’s responsibility. This was very important because without this light, family members would not have been able to see what they were doing and would have had to retire to bed much earlier than planned.

As the salt of the earth, Jesus’ followers not only make the world better (just as salt makes food taste better) but they also preserve what is good and holy (just as salt was a preservative). As the light of the world, they help others to see God. Just as both salt and light were important in the days when there were no refrigerators and electricity, Christians are important to the world today.

Now, how are we salt and light to each of our families, our neighbors, and our friends? Is our parish salt and light to the community? If our parish were dissolved today, would anyone miss it?

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit, remind us always about our dignity as Christians, meaning the followers or disciples of Christ. Amen.

Jakarta, 3 February 2017 

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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SALT OF THE EARTH AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD [MATTHEW 5:13-15]

SALT OF THE EARTH AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD [MATTHEW 5:13-16]

KHOTBAH DI BUKIT - 501WHAT did Jesus mean when He said to His disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. …… You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13,14)? On the themes of Matthew’s Gospel is the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God. In calling the disciples salt and light, Jesus stressed the fact that as His followers they had the responsibility to act as agents of the Kingdom to represent to the world the truth that salvation had come.

Jesus could have been referring to many characteristics of salt when He called His disciples “the salt of the earth.” Salt preserves, purifies, and seasons. In using the metaphor of salt, Jesus was probably relying on all these images to teach that just as salt is vital for daily life, so too are the disciples vital to the world in their witness to God. Jesus said that if salt loses its taste, it becomes worthless. In essence, Jesus was teaching that if the disciples did not make an impact for the Kingdom on the world around them, they would have lost the very essence of their being as disciples.

Jesus also called believers “the light of the world.” Light is seen as a revelation or inbreaking of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:16). The nature of light is to illumine or make apparent, and the challenge to the disciples was to make their testimony to the Kingdom clearly evident. They were to be a city on a hill for all to see, not hidden like a light placed under a basket.

Jesus encouraged the disciples to let their light shine and be seen as a living manifestation of the Kingdom of God. This call to shine did not involve drawing attention to themselves as individuals. Jesus, in fact, warned against practicing acts of piety in order to be seen by others (Matthew 6:1). Rather, His words were meant to call attention to the presence of the Kingdom in our midst, bringing glory to the Father.

As heirs to the Kingdom in our own time, we have the same responsibility. In His love for us, God has called us to participate in the advancement of His Kingdom, to be salt and light to the world.

Jakarta, 10 June 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

(A biblical refection on THE 5th ORDINARY SUNDAY (YEAR A), 9 February 2014)

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-16

First Reading: Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalms: Psalm 112:4-9; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 2:1-5

KHOTBAH DI BUKIT - 501The Scripture Text
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:13-16 RSV)

People are easily mesmerized by evil. I suppose it goes back to the fascination of the forbidden fruit. It is said to see how many people fell compelled to buy the latest blockbuster novel, seething with crime and unbridled passion … but they never take up the good news of scripture.

It is amazing that so many people are compulsive listeners to the rasping, aggressive voices on radio, stirring up every possible pot of controversy for the sake of controversy: they forget their option to switch off and enjoy the silence. It is sad too that so many minds must feed off the amoral husks of the soap opera menu of corruption and violence, adultery and infidelity.

Are we to passively suffer the persistent erosion of tradition and morality? And all the while people wonder why they have no peace of soul. They are too fretful to relax, too disillusioned to hope and too mixed up to hold a clear meaning of life. In the name of being liberal or progressive, we succumb to the fascination of evil. Our world is mesmerized.

A great pope of an early century, St. Leo, issued this clear call to all Christians: “Christians, know your dignity as Christians.” The dignity of Christians is that in them the Kingdom of Heaven is present in the world. And the Kingdom is a life of love and hope, beauty and fidelity, in opposition to the world of hatred and disillusionment, ugliness and infidelity. It is the power of uplifting beauty set against the weight of downgrading ugliness.

Jesus said to His Kingdom-people: “You are the salt of the earth.” As salt preserves the goodness of things, you have the power and responsibility to preserve moral goodness and conserve the valuable truths of revelation for the world.

As salt brings out the taste of things, you are to show forth and celebrate the presence of God’s face in the affairs of life and in the good things of creation. As salt heals the septic wound, you are to heal the putrid areas of society. And salt stings as it heals, so you are not to be afraid of hurting in order to heal, by confronting, challenging and correcting. It is the salt that makes the ocean water stimulating beyond all other water, and likewise your lives are to be vibrant and fresh and stimulating.

Jesus then said to His Kingdom-people: “You are the light of the world.” You are the light of revealed truth to stimulate the searching mind. You are the light of moral guidance to teach the way of living. You are the beacon-light to warn of dangers and guide the ships safely home. Jesus did not say: “You are to become the salt … the lights.” He said: “You are.” It is not in our own talents or by our own doing that we are the salt and light. It is a dignity and responsibility given by God and implanted in us.

The Kingdom of Heaven is here. Its work is taking place. Its power is operative because Christ’s Spirit is living in us and working through us. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Your call is to let Christ-in-you be seen through your attitudes and actions … seen like that city on the hill-top which cannot be hidden.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit, remind us always about our dignity as Christians, meaning the followers or disciples of Christ. Amen.

Jakarta, 7 February 2014

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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