Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time Year A
Readings: Is 58:7-10; 1 Cor 2:1-5; Mt 5:13-16
Salt of the earth and light of the world are the phrases that help to focus on the central message of this Sunday. In the gospel of this Sunday, Jesus uses two metaphors in his teaching: the salt of the earth and the light of the world. There are four reasons why Jesus uses these two metaphors. 1) The first obvious reason is that Jesus wants to describe the power of influence his disciples have in the situations they find themselves. They have an important role in guiding the people in the way of Jesus Christ. 2) The second reason is that historically, salt has always been a valuable commodity in human society, much more than it is today. 3) The third and most important reason is that unrefined salt had healing qualities in ancient Greek culture. Thus the followers of Jesus were to have an extremely important therapheutic role in the world, much comparable to the function of unpurified salt. 4) The forth reason for us today is that the English word "salary" comes from Latin salarium, "salary", originally a Roman soldier's salary which was paid in salt, which was the “dollar” monetary value of the Roman world.