A colleague of mine who had been all over the world once said, “I have been in many cultures and found that all of them use salt. But never once anywhere has salt been served as the main dish.” We all chuckled because to imagine salt as the main dish seemed ridiculous. And it is. We all know a little salt goes a long way. Just have a prankster unscrew the top of the salt shaker and you have proof!
However she went on to say, “I guess that is why Jesus said, ‘You are the salt of the earth.’ since a little bit of me is all that is needed.”
Do you remember times when someone was a salt shaker with a loose top? They give you a very good point but spend so much time telling you the same thing over and over you want to say “All right, already!” A good idea or prayerful thought can lose its power because of too much talking. Like a good meal must be chewed to be enjoyed, good thoughts must be pondered. And that takes time. I think that is why Jesus called us salt. A little bit of us goes a long way.
To use another analogy, Jesus planted the seed in others, but they had to make it develop and grow by following his teachings. He did not pound people into growth. To most individuals who had sinned he just said, “Go, and sin no more.” He did not point out their sin, or exact a promise that they would go the straight and narrow path, or even tell them exactly what they should do. He forgave them or healed them, and that little phrase, “Go, and sin no more,” was all it took to change their lives.
In discussions then, in table talk, in reading, you (and others) will benefit if you stop verbalizing a bit and ponder, think, ruminate on what you have taken in.
Do not forget to let others take time to do the same. Too much chatter can weaken the message.
So, Salt of the Earth, go out to season and flavor the world with the marvelous word of God. Do so without many words, but with lots of example. To quote St. Francis: “Preach the word at all times; when necessary use words.”
Joyful success to you in spreading the Word,
Sr. Sharonlu, OSF
Oldenburg Franciscan Center