Salt and Light

5th Sun A Bulletin Reflection  (Matt 5:13-16)

“You are salt of Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 8.46.08 AMthe earth…You are light of the world”. Jesus uses salt and light to describe his followers’ presence in the world.  He does not call them gold or silver or precious minerals of the earth.  They are to be much more dynamic.  Like salt and light, they are to transform, alter or change the other, time, space, food, etc. We are called to have a transforming effect on the world and others

Salt heightens and preserves flavor.  Salt preserves flesh, human and animal, from corrupting. Like salt, we are to deter others from evil, of becoming corrupt, ruining their lives and so many others.  Each of our lives is for more precious to let them become diseased by our selfish, self-centered, abusive ways of relating. Each of our families is to be the carriers of history of love and not hate and division.  Each of our nations is to be homelands for culture to flourish and not places of carnage from war and terrorism.

By our mere presence if we are like salt, then others shall eat better.  This is true in the way that so many Catholics help literally to feed the poor, homeless through Out of the Cold, soup Kitchens, food banks.  Or they work through Development and Peace to empower the small farmers of the Global South to produce food sustainably for both their families and the market.  Others among young adults, join Jesuit Volunteers Canada and serve those on the margins of Society bringing the flavour to others’  personhood whose light has been next to snuffed out. This is what  free service can do: recognize the  other as other.  Others labour to protect the unborn and care for the pregnant mother, making humanity fruitful. Others travail in promoting community and democracy, flavouring different cultural environments and defending them from decay, which corruption, dictatorship, terrorism and apathy can cause.

Every one of us potentially is the light of Christ.  Across cultures, it is observed that a child can light up others. Jesus’ disciples are to be a luminous people: ones who bring light, who always give off light.  They know the source of this light; there is no questioning, but Jesus Christ. And as Christians we are to extend this energy to everyone, Christian and non-Christian, on this one earth and in this one world to heighten the myriad of colours and hues of humanity.  Christ will not be confined to some elitist, parochial, racist, homophobic, xenophobic perspective; but He will illuminate that catholic vision within us that God’s love is for all and it is only this love that will unite us. Will our lives add to this vision becoming evermore real today?

Fr. David Shulist, S.J.
Director of Jesuit Volunteers Canada (JVC)

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