Christians are to be salt of the earth and light of the world, and there’s a ‘battery’ that we can use to never run out of either.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father stressed this during his daily morning Mass today at Casa Santa Marta, as he recalled today’s Gospel reading.
The Pope drew inspiration from today’s Gospel reading, when Jesus tells His disciples “You are the salt of the earth,” “You are the light of the world.” Christians, he said, must be salt and light, but never self-serving: salt must add flavor and light must illuminate the other.
The Pope went on to ask, “What must a Christian do in order for the salt not to run out, so that the oil to light the lamp does not come to an end?” The “battery” a Christian uses to generate light, the Pope explained, is simply prayer.
“There are many things one can do, many works of charity, many great things for the Church – a Catholic University, a college, a hospital – you may even be rewarded as a benefactor of the Church with a monument, but if you do not pray, it will be dark and dimly lit,” he advised.
Prayer, Francis continued, is what lights up Christian life, and is a “serious” matter. He underscored that our prayers, in all their forms, must come from the heart.
Regarding the salt that Christians are called to be, he noted, “it becomes salt when it is given to others.” This, Francis explained, is another Christian attitude: “to give of oneself, to give flavor to the lives of others, to give flavor to many things with the message of the Gospel.”
How We Don’t Run Out of Salt, Light
“Salt is something to be used, not to keep for oneself, but to give to others. It’s curious,” he continued, “both salt and light are for others, not for oneself: salt does not give flavor to itself; light does not illuminate itself.”
“Of course, you may be wondering how long salt and light can last without running out if we continue to give of ourselves relentlessly,” he acknowledged, noting, “That’s where the power of God comes in, the Pope explained, because the Christian is salt given to us by God during Baptism, it’s a gift that never ends.”
Pope Francis urged Christians to shine brightly and always overcome the temptation to shine light upon themselves. Calling it ‘mirror spirituality,’ the Argentine Pope said, “It is a bad thing” to want to shine light onto oneself.
“Be light to illuminate, be salt to give flavor and to preserve,” Pope Francis concluded.