You are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). Every time I read this gospel, I can’t help but think of cooking. Salt is an essential ingredient! It not only gives flavor, it brings out the flavor of everything else. Hence we say “a pinch of salt”—just enough to bring out all the the essence of the other herbs and spices in whatever dish one is preparing. Jesus today calls us “salt of the earth.” That gives us all a very clear purpose: to be the flavor of the earth, to bring out the wonderful essence of the earth, of all things.
But what is this essence that we are to bring out on the earth? I would suggest that it is the very image and likeness of God. All of us, and all in this world, are created by him: that is the real source beauty in all things. Yet Jesus also warns us that if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. What is this taste? How is it that we are salt? Christ himself, dwelling in us, is the “taste, the flavor, the saltiness” of our salt! We ourselves cannot be salt without flavor, thus without him. Let us all strive then to be ever closer to him!