Salt and Light

Every Catholic should strive for personal sanctification and desire the sanctification of others. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the powerful images of salt and light when calling on his disciples to live out these fundamental qualities.

A valuable commodity in Jesus’ time, salt is not meant to be consumed by itself but is absorbed into food where it purifies and preserves and makes it more pleasing by enhancing its flavor.

Catholics should embed themselves in the culture to protect society from corruption and evil while enhancing the world and bringing out the good of others by words and actions.

Light brightens and shines on other things, allowing them to be seen. It can reveal the truth, goodness, and beauty of the world around us or it can be a beacon to attract or to warn.

Jesus is the light of the world and, as part of his Mystical Body through their Baptism and Confirmation, Catholics have the duty and the right to share this light with the world by doing God’s will and showing others the way with the help of God’s grace.

By living as the person God wants, as salt of the Earth and light of the world, Catholics can change the world and lead others to the faith and to God.

Providing what is lacking:

Enlightening and encouraging others:

Enhancing the environment:

“You are the salt of the Earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5: 13-16

Inherent characteristics of Jesus’ disciples:

The capacity to transform the world:

Just as salt gives flavour to food and light illumines the darkness, so too holiness gives full meaning to life and makes it reflect God’s glory. How many saints, especially young saints, can we count in the Church’s history! In their love for God their heroic virtues shone before the world, and so they became models of life which the Church has held up for imitation by all. Let us remember only a few of them: Agnes of Rome, Andrew of Phú Yên, Pedro Calungsod, Josephine Bakhita, Thérèse of Lisieux, Pier Giorgio Frassati, Marcel Callo, Francisco Castelló Aleu or again Kateri Tekakwitha, the young Iroquois called “the Lily of the Mohawks”. Through the intercession of this great host of witnesses, may God make you too, dear young people, the saints of the third millennium!

Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day Message, 25 July 2001

God works through his Church:

The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history: It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But He acquired a people for Himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,” that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism. This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.” “The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.” “Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.” This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit. Its mission is to be salt of the Earth and light of the world. This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.” Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God Himself on Earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by Him at the end of time.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 782

Of conversion and mission:

Loving and inspiring others:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Completely surrender to the Lord:

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