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.
As I read about the Holy Trinity, I am impressed by the mission of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are sent into the world to gather us to Our loving Father.
In his inaugural Sermon on the Mount, Jesus immediately addresses the mission of his disciples. They are sent as "salt of the earth" and "light of the world." If they fail to be salt or light, he wonders, what are they good for?
This teaching is in the fifth chapter of Saint Matthew's gospel, which is, for all intents and purposes, the beginning of the book. (The first chapters are "pre-history." They concern Jesus' genealogy and birth, his trial in the desert and his gathering disciples.) Arriving at the beginning, on the mountain, he "opened his mouth" and began to tell his chosen ones what this is all about.
The flush of novelty is still upon us. We hardly know what we're getting into when he warns us, salt that fails to season is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. We have yet to hear of "discipleship" as service, that he has come not to be served but to serve, and that we should intend to take up our crosses -- Crosses? What crosses? -- and follow where he leads.
If I follow Jesus it's not because I think he has the right idea. Nor do I line up with him because he's one of the good guys and so am I. (You'll recall he rudely snubbed someone who dared to call him "good.") This was neither my idea nor my initiative.
I follow Jesus because he called me, and because the Holy Spirit assured me this is the way to go.
Jesus sends us. He has anointed us, laid a commission upon us, delegated us to be his representatives in a world that only supposes they know who he is. They think they know what a Christian is, says and does. They think they know about innocence and morality and values.
We haven't come to set them straight. Only God can do that. But, so long as we're here, he might use us to show others what he wants of them.