Ye Are The Salt Of The Earth
Under the old covenant they were strictly commanded to use salt on all meat offerings. “And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” (Leviticus 2:13) Jesus said: “For every one shall be salted with fire: and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:49-50).
Every one shall be salted with fire.
As all offerings under the old covenant needed to be seasoned with salt, even so all Christians must also be seasoned with divine salt; anointed with the holy fire of Jesus Christ and salted with the love of God. And once he has lost this divine anointing of power he is of no further value in the hands of God, to enlighten this wicked, thoughtless world. He is like salt that has lost its seasoning qualities. Natural salt is good and there is no substitute for it. It prevents the decay of meat and preserves many other foods and improve their flavor.
“Ye are the slat of the earth.” This refers to true Christians. He does not say that they should be, but they are the salt; born of God moved by His divine nature to deny themselves and to direct the thoughts of other men heavenward, toward holiness and righteousness, because their influence is spiritual and not carnal. As we use salt to preserve our food, to season and to flavor it, so does God use us Christians to enlighten and rescue this depraved and thoughtless human race from perdition and damnation. If we as Christians live such holy, godly lives, then we are the light of the world. “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14).
Here he compares true Christians to a city that is built on a hill top. Such a city can be seen from far and near. True Christians are the same; they are the light of the world. Jesus said: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12). Jesus represents the great light of the sun which God set in the firmament of the heavens at the time of creation. The Virgin Mary is often represented or symbolized by the moon, because as the moon reflects the light of the sun, she reflects the light of her Son.
This was a favorite image of the Church Fathers and has also been used in modern times, for example by Fulton Sheen: “God who made the sun, also made the moon. The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun. All its light is reflected from the sun. The Blessed Mother reflects her Divine Son; without Him, she is nothing. With Him, she is the Mother of men.” “And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars also.” (Genesis 1:16) When these two lights are in a certain position they are two great lights, but in other positions the one is large and the other small, and just as the small light receives its rays of light from the large one, while it in itself is only a dark sphere, so man just as Mary does, must reflect the divine light of Christ, the great Sun of righteousness, otherwise they are only dark dismal Creatures.
When Jesus speaks of light in Matthew 5:14, He does not say, “make your light shine,” as if the shinning were the important thing, but “let your light shine.”
Let Me, the great Light of the world, work through you, and follow my example in doing good to all men with all your ability, and thereby prove to them that you really love them: then seeing your deeds of mercy, godly life, and good works, they will also be won to believe in Me, and will glorify My father in heaven. And to you sisters Paul says, “In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands: that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives. Considering your chaste life with fear. Whose adorning let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel: But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (I Peter 3:1-4). A priest once said, referring to the above, “If the wives shall live such chaste, godly lives, how much more so should the men, who are the heads of the women, and whose responsibility is even greater.” The above forbids outward show of vanity for men as well as women. Yes, the outward adorning with fashionable apparel darkens the light of many confessing Christians, and it is Satan's bushel and not the candlestick of the Lord Jesus. Jesus plainly teaches us that true Christianity can not be hidden: “You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”. (Matthew 5:14-16)
It is true that genuine Christianity has its roots in the heart, and dwells within the soul, and it is not mere outward hypocrisy: but, if that root is actually in the heart, it cannot help but sprout forth branches which proves themselves as plants of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Light of heaven, and which bear fruit of obedience to His will; originating in the love of God, and promoting a compassionate burden for the souls of men.
True heart felt religion cannot and must not be hidden...
...because the acts of charity and doing good to all people is a fundamental commandment which belongs to all true Christians. We must never the less guard, and may the Lord protect us from seeking honor for ourselves. Our only objective in good works and righteous living must always be for the glory of God, and the salvation of men. Our only wish and purpose in life shall be to magnify God in our lives that He may use us as an instrument in His had to illuminate this blind, lost world with the divine light beam of Jesus Christ.