Pope Francis During Mass in Santa Marta

Pope Francis During Mass in Santa Marta © L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Gives Lessons on How to Be 'Salt of Earth,' 'Light of the World'

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Says ‘Battery’ Keeping Our ‘Light’ Alive Is Prayer

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Christians are to be salt of the earth and light of the world, and there’s a ‘battery’ that we can use to never run out of either.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father stressed this during his daily morning Mass today at Casa Santa Marta, as he recalled today’s Gospel reading.
The Pope drew inspiration from today’s Gospel reading, when Jesus tells His disciples “You are the salt of the earth,” “You are the light of the world.” Christians, he said, must be salt and light, but never self-serving: salt must add flavor and light must illuminate the other.
The ‘Battery’
The Pope went on to ask, “What must a Christian do in order for the salt not to  run out, so that the oil to light the lamp does not come to an end?” The “battery” a Christian uses to generate light, the Pope explained, is simply prayer.
“There are many things one can do, many works of charity, many great things for the Church – a Catholic University, a college, a hospital – you may even be rewarded as a benefactor of the Church with a monument, but if you do not pray, it will be dark and dimly lit,” he advised.
Prayer, Francis continued, is what lights up Christian life, and is a “serious” matter. He underscored that our prayers, in all their forms, must come from the heart.
Regarding the salt that Christians are called to be, he noted, “it becomes salt when it is given to others.” This, Francis explained, is another Christian attitude: “to give of oneself, to give flavor to the lives of others, to give flavor to many things with the message of the Gospel.”
How We Don’t Run Out of Salt, Light
“Salt is something to be used, not to keep for oneself, but to give to others. It’s curious,” he continued, “both salt and light are for others, not for oneself: salt does not give flavor to itself; light does not illuminate itself.”
“Of course, you may be wondering how long salt and light can last without running out if we continue to give of ourselves relentlessly,” he acknowledged, noting, “That’s where the power of God comes in, the Pope explained, because the Christian is salt given to us by God during Baptism, it’s a gift that never ends.”
Pope Francis urged Christians to shine brightly and always overcome the temptation to shine light upon themselves. Calling it ‘mirror spirituality,’ the Argentine Pope said, “It is a bad thing” to want to shine light onto oneself.
“Be light to illuminate, be salt to give flavor and to preserve,” Pope Francis concluded.

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 360

Reading 11 KGS 17:7-16

The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry,
because no rain had fallen in the land.
So the LORD said to Elijah:
“Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there.
I have designated a widow there to provide for you.”
He left and went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
“Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.”
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
“Please bring along a bit of bread.”
She answered, “As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked;
there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die.”
Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
‘The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’”
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and Elijah and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

Responsorial PsalmPS 4:2-3, 4-5, 7B-8

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
Have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart?
Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood?
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
Tremble, and sin not;
reflect, upon your beds, in silence.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart,
more than when grain and wine abound.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.

AlleluiaMT 5:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:13-16

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.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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