You are the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13-16

1. Introductory prayer

Good God, you are calling me, to be the salt and light. But, it is difficult to be salt between non-salt and it is so easy to overshadow the light, because it seems to me that I has nothing to show. Please, give power to my lamp that it will shine with all its strength. And to accept that sometimes I can have only dim light and that is ok. You will make sure that your work will be seen even with my dim light.

 2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to Matthew 5:13-16

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel – Matthew 5:13-16

  • “You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world.” With these images, Jesus marks the role of the Christians in the world.
  • As the salt gives a real taste and makes that the food does not spoil, or as the light shines in the darkness and shows the way, such is the role of the Christians in the world. Our mission is big, serious and responsible! What if the salt loses its savour or light is hidden under a bushel?  Jesus speaks about this risk. In the history of Christianity, this has often happened.
  • Pope John Paul II in his a letter “The dawn of the third millennium”, calls to mind the sins of Christians in the past. Even when it seemed that the whole world was Christian, or at least Europe, there was less salt and light, as one would expect. Times of the Christianity as before are over, but the God’s Word remains the same even today.
  • “You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world.” The world needs salt and light. It needs a few men and women who will genuinely live the gospel. With them people will be able to rest for a moment, warm up and taste some real life. But what the world does not like? Corrupted salt. It does not like Christians, who see themselves better than others and only condemn the world. Such who have a certain bitterness and who threaten with destruction. Faulty salt people throw away and trample it. And rightly so. This no persecution of Christians, such as Jesus talked about it before. In this case, the Christians have lost contact with the God of love who gives the rain to good and evil indiscriminately. In their lives, we do not longer recognize the Father.
  • Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. This means that people will recognize the paternity in God.

Most people need to see good pupils, to somehow know the goodness of the Teacher … If the image is good, they think, that the specimen, after the image is formed, is also good.

  • Through the mercy of Christians for example, you can see the mercy of their God. Jesus knew the man very well. He knew it would be difficult to understand God’s goodness, so he taught his students to reveal it with the light of good works. Already the prophet in the Old Testament is calling to the Israelites to care for the hungry, the homeless, naked; to eliminate oppression, and speaking wickedly; comforting the brokenhearted. Only then, when they do this, they will shine their light, as the dawn in the darkness.
  • Christians therefore, we have to show to the Father with good deeds, and not just words. Paul, in his Letter to the Corinthians (2.1 to 5) says that he protects himself from high words and wisdom, but proclaims Christ – crucified. Pointing to Christ’s good work – to his best work. If we feel that we are poor salt and dim light in the world, consider how Christ on the Cross-reveals to us the good Father. When we can enjoy this light, we can at least have a little sparkle to enlighten the world.
  • Our first and primary concern should be to become and remain good salt and bright light.

Fruits, this is a good work, will come out of this without especially trying from our part.

  • The tree, which grows near the water, yielding its fruit in its season, says the Psalmist. So much how we are with Christ, so many fruits we will show.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read in the Matthew 5:13-16 and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • Where in my life is the Father seen?
  • The light is called to shine to all. Which gifts and talents would I sometimes prefer to hide?
  • For which gifts and talents God is calling me to put them on a beacon to light up for all – that the love of God can be seen.
  • How do I feed in Christ, which gives the fruit?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

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7. Action 

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action)

8. Prayer at the end

God of Love, You love me with infinite love, even when I do not know whether I am the salt, or when I hide under a bushel. Help me to learn that Your love is enough.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  – ignacijevdom.si.