Salt Of The Earth And Light Of The World

2023년 2월 5일

Salt Of The Earth And Light Of The World

< Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time >

 Today’s gospel is different because Jesus doesn’t tell us what to do, but rather tells us who we are. We already are the salt of the earth. We already are the light of the world. Jesus accepts us as we are. But what does it mean to be “salt of the earth”? Interestingly, salt has different cultural meanings. For example, in Korean if you call somebody salty (“짠 사람“) you mean they are stingy. But in English, if you refer to someone using salty language, you mean it contains many curse words

or dirty jokes. Surely Jesus doesn’t mean we are stingy or dirty!

In ancient times, salt was very valuable. It was used not only to make food taste good but also to preserve it. In ancient times, people were actually paid in salt. This meaning survives in the English word “salary” since it comes from the Latin word “sal” for salt. Surely this is the meaning when Jesus calls us “salt of the earth”. We are valuable. We make things interesting. We preserve what is good. So Jesus sees us as valuable, interesting and good. Last week we heard the Beatitudes. This week Jesus tells us by putting the Sermon on the Mount into action, we not only are salt of the earth but light of the world. As I’ve said in previous homilies, in the Bible light reveals the glory of God. So despite your doubts, despite your faults, despite your sins, Jesus wants you to realize you, your words, your actions, reveal to others the glory of God. Keep up the good work!