With these richly evocative images he wishes to pass on to them the meaning of their mission and their witness.
Salt, in the cultures of the Middle East, calls to mind several values such as the Covenant, solidarity, life and wisdom. Light is the first work of God the Creator and is a source of life; the word of God is compared to light
[D]isciples of the Lord are called to give a new “taste” to the world and to keep it from corruption with the wisdom of God, which shines out in its full splendour on the Face of the Son because he is “the true light that enlightens every man” (Jn 1:9).
United to him, in the darkness of indifference and selfishness, Christians can diffuse the light of God’s love, true wisdom that gives meaning to human life and action.
In short, the pope is reminding Christians to be the flavor of the earth by bringing our light of Christ into our everyday life and activities.
I remember reading this Gospel often during the early years of my faith formation and many of my mentors reminding me that the light we’re supposed to be is intended to be visible yet unexplainable. “There should just be something about you,” one priest often said. “When you’re in a person’s presence, whether that person knows God or not, that person will encounter God. And they’ll ask, ‘What is it about you?’”
Or as St. Francis of Assisi put it, “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words.”
Through a smile or an act of kindness or generosity, Christ is revealed. When you remain patient in difficult situations or trusting in uncertain times, Christ is revealed. The key to being this flavor of the earth and light of the world rests in our union with Christ and our ability to share that message, whether we say Christ’s name or not.
Let us Christians remember, as the pope pointed out, we live in a world where indifference and selfishness are the norm. Generosity and truth will turn heads. Be the type of person who turns heads often, who, when you leave the presence of people, they’re left refreshed, wondering, “What is it about that person?”