The English word ‘salary’ literally means ‘salt money’. People were paid wages in salt in the past. Salt was the commonest of all preservatives in the ancient world when people did not have fridges and freezers. It was used to preserve meat, fish, fruits and pickles. As the salt of the earth, the Christian must have a certain antiseptic influence on life and society, defeating corruption and making it easier for others to be good. (Youth Day- 2002 Message by Pope John Paul II) “As the salt of the earth, you are called to preserve the faith which you have received and to pass it on intact to others. Your generation is being challenged in a special way to keep safe the deposit of faith”.
One of the main functions of salt is to season food, to give it taste and flavour. In a worried and depressed world, the Christian should be the one who remains full of the joy of life, conveying it to others. It is our duty to make the world palatable
Jesus outlines the role of Christians in this world. The Christian’s task is to be the salt of society, i.e. preserving, reconciling, adding flavour,. Being salt is about giving meaning where there is no meaning and giving hope where there is no hope.
Jesus went on to say that, if salt became insipid, it was fit only to be thrown out and trodden underfoot. Usually salt does not lose its flavour and its saltiness. But when mixed with impurities, salt can lose its ability to enhance flavour. We, too, might lose our ability to be a “flavouring agent” for the world if we allow “impurities” into our lives (1 Co 15:33).
How is my saltiness – am I salt in the world?. Am I preserving life and faith? Am I adding taste to the world?
Note that Jesus didn’t say sugar – we are not called to just sweeten things up – to go around with false smiles. Jesus didn’t call us to be the “sugar of the world.” He called us to be the “salt of the earth.”
It only takes a sprinkling of salt to transform a dull and tasteless piece of meat. Just a little salt transforms everything. Just a pinch of soul-salt will add flavor to the lives of hundreds, or even thousands. Just as salt acts as a preservative and adds flavor to food, so the exemplary lives of Christians lend flavor to life by helping people to live correctly and by keeping society wholesome.
Every Christian needs to reflect the light borrowed from Christ and radiate that light in the form of love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness and humble service
Share your bread with the Hungry
Shelter the homeless poor
Clothe the man you see to be naked
And turn not your back from your own kin
Then your light will shine
Do away with the clenched fist and the wicked word