13 June 2017
According to scientists, salt cannot really lose its taste. Apparently, it’s a very stable chemical compound, and so it never loses its ability to flavor things. But, there is a way that its taste can be lessened, and that’s by diluting it. And maybe this is a reason why Jesus uses the image of salt to describe his disciples. They (we) can become diluted and lose our ability to “flavor” the world with the gospel.
St. Paul gets at this in his letter to the Corinthians. He writes, “The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you . . . was not "yes" and "no," but "yes" has been in him.” In Jesus, there is no waffling, no being diluted; he is devoted to God the Father, and that’s how he lived his life in the flesh—total commitment to his loving Father.
Later on in the Gospel of Matthew, we hear, “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no” (5:37). In other words, Jesus gives us a commandment: “Do not be diluted; do not lose your flavor. Let your ‘yes’ to me mean ‘yes.’” That commitment to the Lord and his ways of love, mercy, hope, truth, and so on, is what we have to offer the world.
That commitment to the Lord is a flavor the world always needs. Without it, both the world and we become sort of . . . dry and tasteless.