Lord, some days it’s hard to believe that you really think “I am the salt of the earth” or “the light to others.” Then I remember that you believe in me. That you have entrusted me with your mission regardless of where the day takes me. Increase my self-confidence and bolster my trust that your power will work through me so I can be your source of light to others.
–The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
There are two places in the gospel where Jesus declares: “I am the light of the world.” (See 8:12 and 9:5) . Yet in today’s Gospel, the continuation of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus declares to his disciples (and to us): “You are the light of the world.” This makes absolute sense. Baptized Christians, we are the Body of Christ. What Jesus did we are called to do, letting the light of our lives “shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” As Jesus did not seek glory for Himself neither do we. As Jesus gave all honor and glory to the Father so do we.
But in order to do this we must grow in union with Christ, becoming more and more like the origin of all light. This is why the “Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius contain so many reflections on the events of Jesus’ life. It is why the grace we seek as we contemplate the life of Jesus is, in St. Ignatius words, “for an intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become man for me, so that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely.”
As we approach the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which we will celebrate on Friday, we can tweak the grace we seek a bit. While reading the Gospels we can ask that we might have “an intimate knowledge of” the Heart of Jesus, what He was feeling and thinking, so that we may think and feel as He did.
A contemporary Christian song called “Salt and Light” captures this well in the following lyrics: “You make me want to be like You / Your holiness I will pursue / I want the heart of Jesus / Show me the meaning of Your grace / I want to give the world a taste / Of the love of Jesus / Make me salt / Make me light / Let Your holy fire ignite / Reveal Your glory in my life.
— Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/ ).