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Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: 1 Kings 17:7-16; Psalm 4:2-3, 4-5, 7b-8; Matthew 5:13-16

My dear encountered couples:

Salt that has lost its saltiness has been referred to as denatured salt. The salt is saltless, it has become tasteless; it no longer acts according to the expected nature of salt. It has gotten stale. Its basic salt-like quality is no more. So, throw it out. Who wants denatured salt!

The same might be said about a Christian who has lost his or her Christ-likeness. Such a Christian might be called a denatured Christian. He, or she, is lacking that certain, basic quality expected to be part and parcel of the nature of a Christian. Jesus seems to be saying such a person is useless in his church. Like denatured salt he might as well be “thrown out and trampled underfoot.” But why? What harm are they doing?

Denatured salt doesn’t hurt anybody. It is not poison, it is neutral, it is harmless. Why not just leave it alone? The same with denatured Christians. If not hurting anybody, not disturbing anybody’s tranquility, just going their own way, living their own lives doing harmless things, why all the fuss? Why try to bother their consciences?

Because none of us has been put on this earth to live an empty life. We are to make a difference, a positive difference. Neutrality may at times be politically correct, but a Christian by nature is to affect change to the better.

Perhaps at this time of COVID-19, or other times as well, we may find our flames diminishing as the widow in our first reading was experiencing. I believe our fire is stronger as we grow in greater consciousness of what it means to live in relationship with one another. How can we help to secure life, and the fire of our love conquer the coronavirus? How does life change each day as we walk through our world?

“I know your deeds,” says our Lord in the Book of Revelation (3:4). “I know you are neither hot or cold. How I wish you were one or the other! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot or cold, I will spew you out of my mouth!” Jesus wants his salt salty, his Christians Christ-like. Neutrality to him is insipid.

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