Salt Accents the Truth
I have always loved to cook. Since I was a small child, I would make my way to the kitchen to learn what ingredients worked and what ingredients did not work. I was always confused why people added salt to cakes and cookies. They never tasted ‘salty’ but I knew the salt was in there.
As I learned more about cooking, mostly by watching cooking shows on TV, I learned that adding just enough salt didn’t make things salty. Salt made the natural flavors of every ingredient more noticeable. Salt made cakes richer. It made cookies and other sweets complex combinations of delicious treats.
The Lord said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. For every one will be salted with fire and every sacrifice will be salted with salt. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.Mark 9:42-50; 10:1
In today’s Gospel lesson, God is teaching the same truth about salt. Just as salt works in our cooking, it works in our spiritual lives. In cooking, salt brings out flavor by removing water allowing flavors to shine. If we want our soul to shine, we must remove the excess which drowns out the good.
Excess is sin and our passions. When we remove them from our lives, the good we do (and we all do some good) is more pronounced. Too much salt and flavors are overpowered and become salty. Too much sin, and goodness becomes unrecognizable.
When the right amount of salt is used in cooking, we want more. When sin and passions are removed from our life, we desire more goodness, and goodness comes from God. Without salt, food is inedible. Without salt in our spiritual lives, we have only our sins and passions to show.
It would be better to enter heaven maimed than filled with sin. We need that salt to remove the sin and passions from our lives so we can enter heaven full of goodness. Something to think about as we begin a new week in our New Life In Christ.