esus tells us today in the Gospel:
“You are the salt of the earth”
(Matt.5:13). Salt is something
very useful. There is no kitchen
without salt. Hardly any food we can
eat which is not seasoned with salt.
It was used in sacrifice by both Jews
and Romans alike. Salt is a symbol of
the covenant between man and God.
For in the Book of Leviticus we read:
“You shall not omit from your grain
offerings the salt of the covenant with
your God; with all your offerings you
shall offer salt” (Lev. 2:13). To be salt
of the earth means to be a channel
of peace and a witness to love. Salt is
also used to preserve food, to give it
flavour, and it becomes a symbol of
endurance and immortality. To be salt
of the earth means to be the bearer of
an eternal promise.
Salt purifies. There is a cleansing
and healing property in salt. One
may have a favourite brand of mouth
wash. But a little of salt in warm water
will do as well the job at considerably
We must be like salt. We have en-
tered into a covenant with God. Our
existence must give flavour to the life
of this world.
Jesus says: “But if salt has lost
its taste, how shall its saltiness be
restored? It is no longer good for
anything except to be thrown out and
trodden under foot by men” (Matt.
5:13). Salt that loses its taste is utterly
useless. It cannot even be used as fer-
tilizer. It is thrown out as sheer waste
matter. Such is the sad picture of a
Christian who fails to fulfil his calling.
How do we keep the salt from losing
its taste? By prayer, by mortification,
by apostolate, by works of charity.
Salt is not for itself. It is to give taste
to everything. We must not live for
ourselves as Christians but for God
and for our brothers and sisters.
Jesus tells us again: “You are the
light of the world” (Matt.5:14). The
symbolism of light is equally rich:
a lamp gives light, warmth and joy.
“Your word is a lamp for my steps and
a light for my path” (Psalm 118:105).
If one travels at night without light
one is sure to miss the way. If a
lighthouse beacon is extinguished,
there follow death and shipwreck. If
an apostle is faithless to his role, ruin
As Christians, all of us must have
a love for truth. We must be guide
to others. Others rightfully expect
help from us to understand better the
gospel and truth about Christ.
We must spread around us light.
Think of a big hall at night with no
light. One lights up a small candle. It
lights can be seen by everyone in the
hall. Suppose each one present in the
hall lights up a candle. The whole hall
will be flooded by light.
But how should we live as Chris-
tians so that our light should shine
forth? Prophet Isaiah, in today’s first
reading, explicitly tells us what to do
and how to do it. His suggestions are
practical. We should share our bread
with the hungry and our shelter with
others. We should clothe the naked.
We should banish all threats and
curses. Then, the reward of this is
very clear as made known by the Re-
sponsorial Psalm of the Mass which
says: “A light rises in the darkness for
the upright; he is generous, merciful
and just. It goes well for the man who
deals generously and lends, who con-
ducts his affairs with justice” (Psalm
112:4-5). If we live charitably with
those around us in all the different
sorts of circumstances, we ourselves
as Christians will be giving a testi-
mony that will attract many people
to faith in Christ, who said: “By this
will all men know that you are my
disciples” (John 13:35).
St. Paul in the second reading tells
his Corinthian converts that they had
not been called by God to become
members of Christ’s Church, because
of any worldly nobility or power or
wealth which they had. They were
called from, what the world would
call them today, the “lower classes.”
But they were high in God’s esteem.
Today, he tells them that his success
among them was not due to any great
gifts of body or mind which he had,
or displayed. Their conversion was
due not to his earthly wisdom or rhe-
torical powers, but to the spirit and
the power of God which was made
manifest among them. It is to God’s
power alone that they owe their faith.
As Christians, we also owe our faith
to God alone and that faith must be
supported with good works: “Faith
without good works is dead” (James
In our reflection today, we must ask
ourselves frankly whether we are the
salt, the agent that preserves and pu-
rifies. Whether we are the light which
shows the way to the world that has
lost its bearing. Do we show people
the way or do we mislead them? Are
you a true light or darkness? A city
set on a hill or are you hiding?
-May God grant us the grace to let
our light shine to dispel darkness in
our world through Christ our Lord.
Amen. Wishing you a happy Sunday
and a fruitful week ahead. Rev. Fr.
Christian Ehimen Usifoh.