Daily Reflection for Thursday, February 24, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: CLICK HERE
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: James 5:1-6
Responsorial: Psalm 49:14-20
Gospel: Mark 9:41-50
Our Reflection on Thursday’s Reading:
Everyone will be salted with fire…Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another. Mark 9: 49-50
I find it all too easy to stray from God when things are really good and easy. It’s a pattern that I’ve fought against all along my faith journey. When things get easy and I let my guard down, my prayers aren’t always as urgent. They start to get shorter and, in time, less frequent. My conversations with God become more rote and less heartfelt. God is there, but we’re not talking. Or rather, I’m not listening. I’m doing my thing and focusing on the next adventure, the next outing with friends, or what I want to do to make me happy. This often happens with human relationships, too, where people just start to take each other for granted and focus on their wants and needs without consideration for the other person.
I’ve been in one of those ruts with God over the last few weeks. I’ve been on autopilot in many respects and not letting God guide me. I’ve been distracted by worldly problems and been prone to gossip, idleness and greed. The admonition in all 3 readings today is clear. I can’t allow myself to be “contented with [my] lot” and to “store up treasure” but I need to shape up and use my talents for the benefit of others.
I had already been contemplating my own spiritual laziness and need to seek forgiveness when I read these readings for the first time. I immediately knew what I was going to say and then I got to the end of the gospel. The last part of the reading is one I can’t recall ever having heard or read before and frankly it just sounded weird to my twenty first century ears. Jesus tells His disciples:
“Everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid,
with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”
What does it mean to be salted with fire or to keep salt in you? After some research, I found an explanation from Msgr. Charles Pope who explained salt’s role in purification and covenant relationships in the Old Testament Jewish traditions*. Of course fire was also a method of purification. So, to be salted with fire is to be made holy and pure in a world that is corrupted by greed and idleness. To keep salt in ourselves is to keep that which is pure and holy in us, allowing us to love our neighbor and do good in the world. God has salted us with baptism, His scriptures, and even the body of His only son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is alive in us and His love burns away the sin that we all carry. Let us use our salt to flavor our world with goodness and help others taste the love of God.
Peace and blessings,
*Msgr Charles Pope “What Does It Mean to be Salted with Fire?” Feb 23, 2017 Community in Mission http://blog.adw.org/2017/02/mean-salted-fire/