As Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount, he turned to his disciples and said in today’s Gospel, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13-16).
Salt, in New Testament times, was seen as something that kept the world from spoiling and becoming tasteless. “Pass the salt,” Jesus said, in effect, to them.
Today’s Christian should pass the salt to an increasingly tasteless world. What the world needs is an ever-expanding number of salty characters – salty Christians who stimulate the spiritual appetites of everyone who comes into contact with them.
Jesus Christ was no passive patsy. He engendered strong opinions during his lifetime. He was the salt of the earth, and people’s lives changed as they encountered him. Jesus does not want us to be just good and kind church-goers who don’t make any trouble for others. Jesus wants us to be bold, imaginative and dynamic Christians.
For over 50 years now I have reflected on the words of the author and psychologist, Eugene Kennedy: “Better to be a lively sinner, than a dull saint!” The lively sinner can always go to Confession. But a dull saint….What do you do with a dull saint? They just take up space in the pew, the classroom, the office, and the dinner table. To Jesus, a dull saint is a contradiction in terms.
Pass the salt! For God’s sake, pass the salt! Yes, for God’s sake, let’s see some more salt. God needs us to present his message to his world in an exciting way. We are to be the salt of the earth.
It takes very little effort to be tasteless in today’s world. But God wants us to be salty characters … not in a racy, earthy sense but in an enhancing sense. Christians should enrich the lives of others. Having an engaging manner, we should cause people who meet us to comment, “He is so refreshing.” “She is delightful. Her faith makes her sparkle.”
The average 4-year old laughs 400 times a day. The average adult laughs 15 times a day. No wonder the grumpy, old grandparents want to go and be with their grandchildren. They want all that laughter of their grandkids to rub off on them.
Christians should never become completely satisfied with themselves. You must always believe that you are in the hands of God ready for remolding. You ought to be willing to pass God’s salt and BE God’s salt in whatever way God commands you. “Not my will, O Lord, but yours be done in my life,” is the Christian’s prayer.
A graduate student had just gotten his first job, a desk job, and he felt the job was far below his talents. He was probably right. He complained to his friend, but his friend gave him no sympathy at all.
His friend patted him on the back and said, “You know, the world is a much better place because Michelangelo didn’t say, ‘I don’t do ceilings,’ Moses didn’t say, ‘I don’t do rivers,’ Noah didn’t say, ‘I don’t do arks,’ Mary Magdalene didn’t say, ‘I don’t do feet,’ Paul didn’t say, ‘I don’t do Gentiles,’ and Jesus did not say, ‘I don’t do crosses.’”
We could add: “The world is a better place because four-year old children don’t say, ‘I don’t do laughs,’ They are all the salt of the earth.
Who are the people in YOUR life who have shown YOU how to be the salt of the earth? Does YOUR life ever bore YOU? If it does, then risk it! Not daredevil style. Rather, risk it in the service of the Lord of the universe.
LEAD LIKE MOSES. SERVE LIKE MARTHA. BELIEVE LIKE MARY. FIGHT LIKE DAVID. EDUCATE LIKE PAUL. LOVE LIKE JESUS!!
Every day I record a Podcast of my Daily Treats. After you Click On the Underlined Title, Click On the White Triangle in the Turquoise Circle to LISTEN to today’s Message. Enjoy!