Pope: 'salt' of faith, hope and love gifted us by Jesus must be shared, or Christians risk becoming “a museum piece”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The "salt" which Jesus gives us should not be stored up but shared out, this means "going out with the message, going out with the treasure of this salt and sharing it with others," or Christians risk becoming "a museum piece". Pope Francis urged participants at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta to spread the salt of faith, hope and charity toward others.
What is the salt in the life of a Christian, what is the salt that Jesus gave us? Francis asked in his homily focused on the flavor that Christians are called to give to their own life and that of others. The salt that the Lord gives us, he said, is the salt of faith, hope and charity. But we must be careful that this salt, which is given to us by the certainty that Jesus died and rose again to save us, "does not become tasteless, that it does not lose its strength." This salt "is not to be stored up, because if it is preserved in a bottle it becomes useless".
"Salt makes sense when it is added to gives things taste. I think its true too that salt stored in a bottle, grows damp, it loses strength and becomes useless. The salt that we have received is to be shared, its to add taste, its to be offered [to others]. Otherwise it becomes bland and useless. We must ask the Lord not to become Christians with tasteless salt, with bottled up salt. But salt also has another special feature: when the salt is used well, you don't taste it! It leaves the taste of every meal: salt helps enhance the flavor of the meal, it helps preserve, it makes meals more flavorful. This is Christian originality! ".
"When we preach the faith, with this salt," those who "receive the proclamation, receive it according to their own peculiarities, as is the case with meals." And so "each with its own peculiarities receives the salt and becomes better." "Christian originality is not a uniform! It takes each one of us as we are, with our own personality, characteristics, culture and leaves us with as much, because it is a treasure. But it gives us an added extra: it gives flavor! Christian originality is so beautiful, because when we want to make everything uniform - that we are all salted in the same way - then its like when a woman puts too much salt in and so you can only taste the salt and not the flavour of the meal. Christian Originality is this: each one of us is as we are, with the gifts the Lord has given us. "
This "is the salt that we have to share." A salt that is "not to be stored up, but to be offered out". And this "means a bit 'of transcendence": "going out with the message, going out with this treasure, this salt that we have and giving it to others." On the other hand there are two "outlets" that prevent the salt from going off. First, sharing the salt "at meals, in service to others, to serve people." Second, "transcendence toward the author of the salt, the Creator." The Pope reiterated, "you cannot conserve the salt by preaching alone", it "also needs transcendence, prayer, worship":
"And this is how salt is conserved, so that it does not lose its flavor. Through worship of the Lord I transcend myself to the Lord and with the proclamation of the Gospel I go out of myself to share His message. But if we do not do this - these two things, these two transcendences to share His salt - the salt will remain in a bottle, and we Christians will become museum pieces. Can we see share this salt: this is my salt. But how beautiful it is! This is the salt that I have received in Baptism, this is what I received in Confirmation, this is what I received in catechesis ... But look: Christians who are museum pieces! A salt without flavor, a salt that is useless".