Today, as I read the gospel and meditate on it, my own story comes to mind. My father has high blood pressure and was put on a salt free diet. One day, as soccer was my “Achille tandem,” I skipped the meal, choosing to play soccer over food. After the game, I was hungry and tired, but there was no food for me at home. I had already made my choice, and I was told there was nothing to expect in a family of eight, with five “big eater boys” and three “great kitchen food taster girls.” Unless you had very good reasons or excuses, you had to be there at the mealtime. It was the rule, and this meant also to strengthen the family bond. The breaking of bread always was and is a sacred family time. I see you smile…!
Now back to my story. Hungry and tired, I had to rely on my father’s generosity, for he was not home yet. At my father’s return, I made sure to be a good boy in order to get something. My father’s heart could not stand to see his son being hungry. He thus gave me a portion of his unsalted and “tasteless” food. Then I realized how important the salt was in making the food tasty, and lamented my father’s situation, which, by the way, I had no control over or power to change. However, the most important thing in that situation was not the unsalted and tasteless food; rather it was the way my father was the “salt of my life.” For a hungry and tired teenager, life was tasteless. It took my father’s love for me to make life tasteful again. My father was the salt of my life because he not only put a smile on my face, but also made me always remember to be and to do likewise.
On this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time, we are reminded of our identity and mission as disciples of Christ: we are meant and called to be the salt and the light of the world. This invitation coincides with this year’s Annual Pastoral Appeal: “Salt and Light.” This is how we are reminded of the difference we are called to be and to make in the world. Through our every day’s small acts of kindness and generosity, we enlighten others and add a little bit of taste to their lives.
As we continue to strive to respond to the Lord’s call to Courageously Live the Gospel, let us pray for one another and for our parish family; asking the Lord to help us be the salt and the light that wipe away the gloom of darkness and hopelessness and bring God’s light and the taste of His love to the world.