In Matthew 5:13, Jesus is preaching the Beatitudes to his Apostles. After this, he tells them “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.”
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the 26th November, 1998 at the Synod for Oceania:
“ We know Jesus above all through the Gospels. A deep knowledge and an integral reading of the Gospels is, therefore, fundamental to Christian life. Selective readings of the Gospels – so widespread today – are insufficient. Often, people fabricate a sweet Jesus only, Who accepts everything and everyone, Who doesn’t exclude anyone or anything, and is set up against the Church, which knows not only a Yes, but also a No.
The fact that the Gospel is also a sword which divides (Matthew 10:34) and a fire which burns (Luke 12:49) is no longer mentioned. According to the will of the Lord, the apostles are not the sugar, but the salt of the earth. In other words, a Christianity, from which the truth of the cross disappears, loses its identity. To follow Christ is to follow the Crucifix and precisely in this way we go along the way of love, which is life and opens the gates of true happiness.”
( From: Cardinal Newman Catechist Centre Newsletter , dated 5th April, 1999. Edited by Rev. B.J.H. Tierney)
(N.B. The highlighting in this text is in the original article by Fr.Tierney)
The message for us, and for the Church, is obvious.
We must be the salt of the earth!