You Are the Salt of the Earth

“You are the salt of the earth…the light of the world,” Jesus tells his disciples in today’s Gospel from St. Matthew. Still today, years after I first saw the play Godspell, when I hear the “salt and light” Gospel passage, I start hearing in my mind (or singing) the Godspell version of that song.

The song emphasizes the admonitions that follows each of Jesus’ proclamations to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth…but if that salt has lost its flavor it ain’t got much in its favor…You are the light of the world…but if that light’s under a bushel, its lost something kind of crucial.” (The one that always sticks with me is the line in the song that says “You are the light of the world – But the tallest candlestick ain’t much good without a wick.”)

This is not about us; today’s Gospel is not an invitation to advertise our good deeds, to tout or boast about ourselves. But is does invite us to examine how well we are heeding the command to be salt and light to the world. Sitting back and saying “I believe in God…I believe in Jesus…I believe in the Holy Spirit is not enough.