Why we are the salt and light of the earth

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WHY? Because, first of all, Christ told us so. “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world,” he clearly told his disciples and eventually all of us. (cfr. Mt 5,13-14) But more than just being told by Christ, the basis of such divine command is because as persons we are meant to care for one another, to love one another. We would be contradicting our personhood if we fail to care and love one another.

And the basic expression of such personal care and love for others is precisely to be such salt and light as Christ wants us to be so that we can lead everyone to our ultimate good and goal, which is to be with God, to be like God who wants us to be like him.

Let’s remember that as persons we are meant to enter into a necessary relation with God and with others. That is why we have been endowed with intelligence and will so that we can know and love God and everybody else.

Besides, we have been given the grace from God so that our knowing and loving does not get stuck in the natural level only, but can enter and get elevated to the supernatural order where the true essence of love, which is God himself as personified by Christ, “the way, the truth and the life” for us, is.

We need to be most aware of this duty and must do everything we can to carry out this responsibility effectively. Otherwise, we would get trapped in our own selves, in our own bubble that can trick us with deceptive charms and allurements.

Especially nowadays when the world is full of things that can imprison us in our own world. It’s ironical to observe that in spite of our very powerful tools and technologies of communication, the cases of conflicts and division among ourselves seem to be increasing instead of decreasing.

To be true salt and light of the world as Christ wants us to be, we need to learn how to inspire others. We know that we are all interrelated, obviously not biologically that only has a limited scope, but definitely to a large extent, politically, economically, socially, etc. The fact that we all live in the same one world somehow makes us all interrelated.

But there’s actually a more radical basis of our interrelation. And that is that we are all creatures of God, children of his, meant to be the people and the family of God. It is a relationship that is spiritual more than material, forged by a supernatural principle and not just by something natural.

This basic truth about ourselves gives rise to the duty that we have to help one another spiritually more than anything else. It is in our spiritual bond that actually gives rise to all our other relations with everybody else according to the different aspects of our nature.

This is what is meant by our duty to inspire others. Etymologically, the word ‘inspire’ means to breathe into. And it definitely is not only air that we should breathe into others. We have to breathe a spirit that in the end is nothing other than the spirit of God, who is the original inspirator.

That is the spirit that is proper to us since we are God’s image and likeness, meant to be existentially be united with God not only in heaven but even while here on earth! To inspire others properly, we need to be the salt and light of the world!

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com