Mt. 5:13-16 This morning’s gospel reading follows on immediately from the account of the beatitudes, which was yesterday’s gospel reading.
Jesus is saying that those who live out the attitudes and values portrayed in the beatitudes are, in reality, salt of the earth and light of the world. The way of life to which Jesus calls us is with a view to the whole earth, to the whole world. Jesus always had the world in view when he called his first disciples, and when he calls us.
He calls us to follow in his way, to live by his values and attitudes, not just for our own sakes but for the sake of all humanity. To the extent that we live the gospel, others will benefit, whether we are aware of that or not.
To the extent that we fail to live the gospel, others are being deprived. When we allow ourselves to be led by the Lord’s Spirit, we become a light for others. Indeed, Jesus says in the gospel reading that we have a responsibility to be a light for others. ‘Your light must shine in the sight of all.”
Jesus is saying, ‘if you have a light – and you do – you must let it shine’. To let our light shine is to do what the gospel reading calls ‘good works, those works that give expression to the gospel values and attitudes that are found in the Beatitudes. It is these good works that will bring God’s light into a darkened world. These good works are not with a view to drawing people’s attention to ourselves, but, rather, to God who inspires them. We do them so that, in the words of the gospel reading, people ‘may give praise to your Father in heaven. Amen.
Have a great day.
Fr. John Peter.