Gospel reflections – Sunday, February 5th

Isaiah 58:7-10; 1Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Just this past week I read a report which says we’re getting way too much salt in our diet.  It’s not so much the salt we put on the food that’s the problem; it’s the salt that’s put into processed foods before we ever see them.  Why so much salt? To give the food some taste – otherwise much of the American diet would be exposed for the bland and unhealthy mush it is. (OK, OK, I confess – I won’t give up my Pop-Tarts!)

I don’t know what Jesus’ attitude about processed foods would have been – there was a lot less of it back then (actually, there was a lot less food back then) – but  we know what his attitude towards salt is.  From a spiritual point of view, the world can’t get enough of it.

Let’s push the analogy a bit further.   What disciples of Christ bring to the world is Flavor – or, as St. Irenaus said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”  People can’t help but notice the true disciple of Christ – because he or she radiates a sense of joy and peace and concern for others that’s a noticeable contrast to the bland existences so many people settle for.  Disciplship certainly involves sacrifice at times, but the fundamental experience of following Christ is not Suffering.

It’s Joy. (Just ask Mother Teresa.)

My completely unqualified medical advice to you is – watch the salt intake in your food.  But when it comes to living the Christian life, sprinkle with abandon.

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

(You can find my book length writings on the scriptures (and the Church!) at: www.twentythirdpublications.com. )

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