“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘ … You are the light of the world.’” Mt. 5:13-14
Jesus is the light of the world (Jn. 8:12). Yet today’s Gospel from Matthew tells us that Jesus’ disciples (that’s us!) are the light of the world. What is going on here?
We know that Jesus is the fullest revelation of God. He is the Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, incarnate in the world. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. He is certainly the light of the world.
But Jesus says we are the light of the world. As disciples, we are called to become like our Master and Lord. We are called to live lives that reveal God to the world, just as Jesus’ life revealed God to the world. But there is more. It is not a matter of us trying to reveal God by being good, nice, people. There is something deeper going on.
As the Workbook for Lectors states this week:
[Jesus] does not say we will be light “if” or that we will be salt “when.” Because of our Baptism, we are incorporated into Christ and that status makes us salt and light. Our very being is now sacramental and we go forth evincing Christ with every breath, for we are his body. A married couple does not strive to become a sacrament of God’s love; they are made a sacrament when, in love, they bind themselves to each other. What remains for them is to grow in their ability to show forth God’s love for the Church through their ever deepening love for each other…. Duties flow from identity, not the other way around. Once we know who we are we begin to intuit what we should do.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood