When I was 12 years old, my favorite movie was Godspell, a fantastic 1973 version of a Broadway musical based on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. My family knows the songs and performances so well, and in Church we will look at each other and pantomime what the actors do in the movie. Usually, this makes us look like goofballs, but honestly, it has given me a better and long-term understanding of these important parables and gospels. Needless to say, today’s Gospel is featured in the film, and I know it well.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.” Matt 5: 13-16
This gospel is full of insights to help us understand how to live out the light of Christ in our lives. Think about it. We are the salt of the earth. We, filled with faith in God, are the salt with which all delicious food is seasoned! If we are not adding flavor to the world and sharing our faith, we will become like dirty road salt under cars and feet. We are called to love as Christ loves, to show that we have not only heard the Word of God, but are now going out to season the world with our faith. Likewise, we are the light of the world! Light illuminates the darkness, so how do we illuminate the world around us? In a world that can be so dark at times, what comfort and support do we give to others? How do we exemplify the love of the Father through us? Christ calls us to not only shine our light before all, but illuminate the world and give our all, to all.
Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have spoken about the necessity to brighten all corners of the world with our light of faith. The New Evangelization is helping to renew the flicker of faith in our hearts, transforming them into raging and unstoppable flames. As Pope Francis says in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, “once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim….We come to see that faith does not dwell in shadow and gloom; it is a light for our darkness.” We must remain on our lampstand, careful not to slowly drift under bushel baskets. We can avoid dimming our light by attending Mass frequently to hear the Word and receive the Lord, confessing our sins regularly with a priest, discussing and asking questions about our faith to learn more fully, going outside of our comfort zones to reach those in darkness, and, finally, remaining true in our love and compassion to imitate Christ’s own life. We are the Light of the World, so let’s go act like it!
Krissy Kirby is a recent graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. with a degree in Early Childhood Education.