Salt and Light

“Salt and Light”
A reflection on Matthew 5:13-16
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
©2023 by Gloria M. Chang

Jesus said to his disciples: “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

Friends of God

Salted with the Spirit of God, disciples shine with the light of the new covenant in Christ. For salt makes friends of strangers and enemies. In the Hebrew Scriptures, a “covenant of salt” binds Israel to God forever.1 

As a testament to their union, God instructs Moses to make an aromatic incense of sweet spices, “seasoned with salt, pure and holy.”2 Salt also purifies toxic places on earth. After receiving Elijah’s mantle, Elisha threw salt into the noxious spring near Jericho to “heal” it of death and barrenness.3 

Friends of God flavored with the beatitudes of Christ draw people to the foot of the cross. May the Church, seasoned with the salt of the Spirit, be Christ’s light and city on a mountain.

For everyone will be salted with fire.

Mark 9:49 (ESV)

Spirit-salted saints irradiate
The light of Christ that leads to heaven’s gate.
For friends of God unite by covenant:
A shining, pure, and tasty testament.


1 Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5.
2 Exodus 30:34-36 (RSV).
3 2 Kings 2:19-22.

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