Commentary for Sunday: 5th February

Matthew 5, 13-16:

Sunday, 5th February 2023 (5th O T)

“At that time Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has become tasteless, with what will you season it? It is good for nothing but to throw it out and let people trample it underfoot. You are the light of the world…”.


In some parishes, when they celebrate the baptism of children, along with the rite of light, they also perform the rite of salt. A grain of salt is placed in the baby’s mouth and a lighted candle is given to the parents. Some families ask you to add more salt to make it “salty”. It seems that most of us were given just a little salt, because we are very “bland” Christians. And we know that blandness is unpalatable, that it is tasteless.

Jesus tells us today in the Gospel that we are “the salt of the earth and the light of the world”. I am sure that when he sees what we are like he will be disappointed. We are far from giving flavour to life or being able to enlighten others. And it is not a question of “being graceful or enlightened”. It is the prophet Isaiah, in the first reading who gives us the key to being salt and light: “Break your bread with the hungry, shelter the homeless poor, clothe the naked, do not close yourself to your own flesh. Put away from you oppression, threatening gestures and murmuring”. The works of mercy.

Easy in theory, complicated in practice. But we cannot give up without trying to make Jesus’ wish come true: to be salt and light for others, and thus “give glory to our heavenly Father”.


Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf

Are you salt and light?



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