Weaving the Word. 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time A

I do love the way Jesus uses metaphor. Salt and light are ones that are particularly rich, that still speak to our modern day experiences.

I have used salt as a metaphor when explaining the Sacrament of Reconciliation to children.

I have used this Gospel to help teenagers examine their conscience before Confirmation.


And I have used salt and light creatively to highlight or underline the important points in many a sacramental preparation session.

Our understanding of the importance and value of salt and light may have changed form the time of Jesus but still hold essential lessons for how we are to be disciples.

Reflection points

Which of salt’s many properties are you being invited to use to bring forth the Kingdom?
Where are you tempted to hide the light of your faith this week?
How do your good deeds glorify God this week?
How much do you know about salt?
How many of the different uses of salt can you name?
Why do you think Jesus uses salt and light as metaphors for how we are to be His disciples?
God never forces but always invites us. Our faith involves choice, where can you choose to be salt or light to those you meet?
Together can you choose one of Isaiah’s instructions to practice being salt or light?
Lord Jesus Christ,
We pray that we remember
Each time we season our food,
Every time we turn on a light
You call us the salt of the earth
And the light of the world.
Take from us the fear that prevents us
form adding flavour to the lives of others,
or from letting our light shine in the darkness.
May the trust You place in us
to bring about the Kingdom
Forever bring glory to the Lord our God.



Examination of Conscience for Teenagers

Many years ago I prepared an examination of conscience for Confirmation Candidates based on the Gospel passage from Matthew where Jesus tells us WE are the Salt of the earth and light of the world.

After the proclamation of the Gospel, the examination was read slowly by 2 catechists leaving enough silence between each section for reflection.

Another time we asked the candidates to reflect on the elements of salt and light. After a short while we asked them to choose one of the metaphors and used the co-responding examination with each group.


YOU ARE the salt of the earth and light of the world.

Think about salt, what does it do? It makes a difference

salt piles

It seasons:

When have you failed to make a positive contribution to your worshipping community?

Your family?

Your work or school?

Your friends?


It preserves:

When have you failed to keep something fresh?

When have you allowed a relationship to go stale through inattention?

How do you keep your relationship with the Lord fresh?


It cleanses and heals:

How does the Gospel help you to live morally?

Where do you need healing, in mind – thoughts, desires, beliefs, ideals?

in body – attitude to food, self image, harmful substances,

in spirit – relationships, faith, prayer, rest.


It adds buoyancy:

How often do you allow yourself to come before the Lord and just be?

How does your behaviour keep others afloat?


It can increase thirst:

Does your behaviour invite others to ask about Jesus?


It is something of value:

Do you believe you are made in the image and likeness of God?

How does this affect your actions?

Where have you not valued yourself?

Or others?

What do you value most?

Does your focus need to change?

When have you allowed an invitation to make a difference slip through your hands?


It is a mineral:

Where have you not been respectful of the earth?

Where could you make a change to live as a good steward?


Think about light, what does it do? It enables us to see   


It illuminates:

Where do you take the Light of Christ for granted?

When are you aware of needing Light to help you?


It cannot be hidden:

What actions would you like to hide from the light?


It reveals:

How often do you ignore what Christ reveals to you?


It comforts:

Where have you not comforted those in need?


It creates a shadow:

Where are you only part of who you are called to be?

Which actions work out of your shadow side?


It is radiant:

Where do you not allow the truth to shine through?

What stops you from being truly beautiful?


It guides:

When do you cause others to stumble?

What stops you from being a guide?