Homilette for Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

(II Corinthians 1:18-22; Matthew 5:13-16)

In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi mobilized the Indian subcontinent to demand independence. His tactic called for a protest on the salt tax. Salt is called “the poor person’s spice” because it is everywhere available and enhances the taste of most foods. The salt tax forbade the producing or selling of salt by anyone except the British government. Organizing a march to the sea where salt was to be collected, Gandhi made all the people realize that England had no right to claim sovereignty over their land.

When Jesus calls his disciples “the salt of the earth,” he -- like Gandhi organizing the salt march -- has no mean objective in mind. Rather, he is encouraging his disciples to help lift everyone’s burden by their solicitation. Joyful because as God’s children their destination is heaven, they are to invite the world on their journey. Likewise as light, the disciples are to draw attention to themselves so that everyone will emulate their righteous conduct.

Unfortunately many Christians today doubt their standing as salt and light. They see other ways of living and recognize their own as different not qualitatively better. We should not be so reserved. True, we must examine our motives and correct our faults, but we should also realize that the gospel implicitly followed will fulfill the deepest longings of every human heart.