Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Corinthians 1:18-22; Matthew 5:13-16)
Former Peace Corps volunteers remember the time they visited an Iban family in upriver Sarawak. Knowing that the people lacked food supplies, they gave them some canned foods that they brought along. They were served back to them. When they asked what the people ate with their rice, they were told “salt.” They left amazed at how generous these simple people were. The Ibans seemed like Jesus’ disciples, “the salt of the earth.”
Jesus calls his disciples “salt” because they are to make life savory for others. They are not to live for themselves but to spread the joy of the gospel. They engage others in conversation as a means to acknowledge the other’s humanity. Their goal is not to convert others to Jesus but to love them. If they lose this saltiness by becoming self-centered and arrogant, they render themselves as unfit for the kingdom of God.
Some of us to our peril might reject the idea of being considered something as common as salt. We would like to think of ourselves at least as sweet as sugar if not as exotic as an oriental spice. But humility and respect for all wins friends for Jesus and promotes us in God’s eyes. To be “the salt of the earth” is a worthy aspiration for anyone.