Light and Salt are two simple metaphors that Jesus uses in today’s readings. The prophet Isaiah tells those listening that they should let their light shine like the dawn and dispel the darkness of those who are less fortunate. The world will see that they are men and women of integrity who are acting for the good of their fellow humanity.
In the absence of modern refrigeration methods in years past salt was the commonest of all the preservatives used to pickle things in jars or meat and fish so that they could be enjoyed in the future. Today we mainly use it to season our food during or after cooking. Now we take light for granted at the flick of a switch, but back then the absence of light meant danger to people. We need a lamp to guide the way forward to avoid that danger. Jesus Christ is that beacon for us all.
Jesus would have known the importance of these two commodities to the people of his time, so he uses them as an example to help to get his message across. He tells his listeners in today’s Gospel that they are the salt of the earth but warns them that when salt becomes tasteless it is useless and good for nothing. By being the salt of the earth, we can help to preserve the faith we have. We are also to be a light to the world and should let it radiate so that other people are drawn to him by the love, kindness, forgiveness and mercy we show to others.