The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A - 6th February 2011

Nowadays we are told to be careful of our salt intake as it can cause health problems.  However, we all know that without salt our food would be insipid and tasteless.  Jesus' remark, that we should be salt for the earth uses one of the most common elements of our kitchen cupboards to describe what Christians should be like.

This seems, to me at least, to be significant.  Christians are not to regard themselves as special or superior to others.  We are to find our place in the midst of the goings on of the world around us.  In many ways, we are to be unremarkable because we are not to be the ones who seek high office or fame or reputation.  We are to be like the salt which sits among more exotic spices in our kitchen cupboards.  It may not be the most exciting ingredient on the menu but it has a very important role.

Just like the salt, we are to be ever present.  Just as salt features in almost every recipe so should Christians make a contribution to every aspect of our society.  Just as we notice immediately when salt is lacking from our food, so should we notice the absence of Christian voices in our public debates and our local issues.

Salt brings out the flavour in our food.  If we are salt for the earth we should bring out the real flavour in our world.  We should be the ones who make it possible for people to really live their lives and not just endure them.  We must be the people who make life worth living for all those we meet.

Similarly, once the dish is cooked the salt is hardly noticed.  In fact, it is generally noticed by its absence.  Our engagement with others should never be with a view to making ourselves noticed or perpetuating our own selves.  In fact, too much salt can be very unpleasant just as Christians who place themselves at the centre of everything can distort how things should be - it is our challenge to put Christ and not Christians at the centre.

Salt for the earth - flavour for the world.  This is what we are called to be and what we can be if we follow the way that the Master has laid out for us - love one another; forgive one another; be compassionate; be Christ for others.


Article posted on 5th of February 2011

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