In order to understand what Jesus is telling us in today's Gospel, we need to consider what salt and light meant in his time. Because we can buy all the salt we could ever need at our local grocery and we have light anytime we want at the flick of a switch, we may not realize how special both were in ancient Israel. Salt was so valuable it was part of the pay of Roman soldiers. Light came only in the form of fire or small oil lamps. In both cases, salt and light were valuable.