Jesus uses two eloquent images. Both are silent but both radically change reality.
Today’s readings are here.
Flavor and light are the two eloquent images Jesus uses to remind each of us of the deeper identity of our Christian vocation: “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” It’s a great responsibility to be the salt of things, and it’s an equally great responsibility to illuminate the darkness of the world and history.
Salt and light do not make noise, but they make a difference. They aren’t sensational things in and of themselves, but they radically change reality. If something lacks salt you notice it immediately, and if light is absent you notice the difference just as much.
Christians don’t make noise, but are called to make the difference in things. Their presence has the same purpose as salt and light, the same humility, the same essentiality. That’s why the big question we have to ask ourselves is whether we’re preserving the flavor of faith in us, and whether we might not be hiding the splendor of Christ’s being.
And that’s different from publicizing Christ or shouting our beliefs in some way. While the world uses worldly means to fight its battles, Christians know that their winning weapon is to be more and more united to Christ. If they are tied to Him through a true spiritual life, then their every gesture is charged with meaning and gives meaning. And like salt, sometimes it burns on wounds, and sometimes it flavors things.
While the world shouts and wages battles, we as the light point to what is true, above all through our personal testimony. Christians are friends of Truth, but for its sake, they never turn anyone into an enemy. They can fight things that are wrong, but they never confuse people with things. Jesus never used violence toward anyone, so he remained a light for everyone, even for those who hurt him.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese of Italy and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
Aleteia is proud to offer this commentary on the readings for daily Mass, in collaboration with Fr. Epicoco.