Readings for Tuesday June 9, 2009

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." (Matthew 5:13-16)

A few years ago I remember watching Emeril on the food network. Aside from his "BAMS!" and "kicking it up a notch" after every commercial, he talked a good amount in his show about spices and seasonings. He discussed the shelf life for spices that many of us keep in our cabinets for many years. His point was that after so much time, the spices and seasonings are no longer at their peak performance and are no longer as good as they once were. His suggestion of what to do with them was throw them out and get new spices. This makes sense, because what can you do with a spice or seasoning that does not add the desired taste to the dish you are preparing? It is not going to be good for anything else, so you might as well get rid of it.

After reading today's gospel, I wonder if Emeril ever came across this passage as inspiration for that particular show. Jesus knew that salt, like any other spice or seasoning, once it loses it's flavor is useless. It is no longer good for anything else, and must be done away with. The characteristic trait of salt and other seasonings is the particular taste and benefit that it adds to the dish. We too like salt are made, and used for a purpose. If, however, we lose our flavor and no longer contribute or add anything, then we are not serving our purpose, we essentially have lost our "flavor."

Today's gospel warns us today of losing our "flavor" and of hiding "under a basket." We are called to be the salt of the world, adding the right flavor to this world. We are called to be the lights of the world, allowing the light of Christ to shine through us and allowing others to be lead to Him. We are called to share the good news, do good works, and to give all glory to God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we all keep our flavor, and be the lights of the world that we are all called to be.

Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and make the fire of your love burn within them. Send forth your spirit and there shall be another creation. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, you have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant that through the same Holy Spirit we may always be truly wise and rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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