Your light must shine before others. 

There’s nothing particularly interesting or special about a container of salt or a package of lightbulbs in your pantry. But think how indispensable they are! Salt provides flavor to food and can make a bland dish tasty. And it would be hard to function in your home at night without some sort of light!

Maybe you feel a little like one of these humble household items—nothing out of the ordinary. But each one of us is invaluable; we each have something unique to offer the world. So in today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:13-16), when Jesus calls us to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world,” his command is not just for certain people, like the wealthy, the powerful, or the saintly (Matthew 5:13, 14). It’s for everyone, including you!

Being like salt and light to other people may sound like a big challenge. But there is a simple place to start: love.

Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” When you visit a lonely neighbor, you are being “salt” by relieving the monotony of her day. When you make your son’s favorite meal for his birthday, you are bringing “light” into his life.

But as Jesus reminds us, we need to do more than just love those who love us back. We need to love our “enemies” and forgive those who have wronged us (Matthew 5:44). It could require making peace with a family member with different political views or forgiving someone who has cheated us out of money. This is the most challenging kind of love, but it’s the kind that sets us apart as disciples of Christ—a love so generous that it makes everyone take notice, and we become like a “city on a mountain that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

You are part of the Church’s mission to bring Jesus’ love into the world, and you can do it in both everyday and extraordinary ways. It’s not always easy, and there’s no guarantee it will be appreciated. But that doesn’t matter. The love you have to offer is as essential to living as salt and light!

“Jesus, help me to put your love into action today.”

2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalm 119:129-133, 135
Matthew 5:13-16


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