My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
SAVORLESS SALT IS OF NO VALUE
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt
loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It
is then good for nothing but to be thrown out
and trampled underfoot by men" (Matthew 5:13).
"For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and
every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor,
how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves,
and have peace with one another" (Mark 9:49-50).
"Now every gift of your grain offering you shall season
with salt; You shall not allow the salt of the Lord’s covenant
to be from your grain offerings. WITH EVERY GIFT SHALL
OFFER SALT TO THE LORD YOUR GOD" (Leviticus 2:13).
According to our Holy Orthodox Church salt is a symbol of an indissoluble covenant, which was added to this offering.. As we all the olive oil symbolized the Holy Spirit, and incense was a symbol of prayer. Further, "In Leviticus, every gift, unless it is seasoned with salt, is forbidden to be offered as an oblation to the Lord God. Now the whole spiritual meditation of the Holy Scripture is given to us as salt which stings in order to benefit, and which disinfects, without which it is impossible for a soul, by means of reason, to be brought to the Almighty; "for ye are the salt of the earth," said our Lord Jesus Christ to the holy Apostles.
As far back as 6000 B.C. salt has been an important and integral part of the world. Ancient civilizations as the Chinese, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans considered salt more valuable than their own currency. This timeless ingredient is an essential element inthe diet of not only people but animals,and even plants. It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives. Salt has played a vital part in religious ritual in many different cultures, symbolizing purity. There are more than thirty references to salt in the Holy Scripture, including the well-known expression "salt of the earth." It also made a good anticeptic, which the Romans used for that purpose. A soldier’s salary was cut if he "was not worthy his salt," a phrase that came into being because the Greeks and Romans often bought slaves with salt.
"For everyone shall be seasoned with fire" (v. 49), that is, shall be tested. Saint Paul also says that all things will be tried by fire. And every sacrifice, the Lord says, shall be salted with salt. It is good for you to season your sacrifices (offerings) with the salt of God, which, according to Saint Theophylact, meansm, do not make offerings that you have not carefully prepared to please God.
"Salt" is also what the Lord calls the Apostles, and in general, all those with the duty to preserve others from corruption. Just as salt preserves meat, and prevents worms from breeding within it, so do words of teaching, if they are astringent, shrink the fleshliness of carnal men, and prevent the worm that never sleeps from breeding within them. But if the teacher is without salt, that is, if he has no astringement to preserve us from rot, with what shall he be salted, that is, be seasoned? Hve salt therefore in yourselves, that is, have the pleasing and preserving grace of the Holy Spirit, so that you may have peace one with another. For he who is bound to his neighbor by love has shrunk his carnal self, and it is he who "has salt", and he is at peace with his brother. (Saint Theophylact)
Our Savior Jesus Christ is teaching His disciples their role in the world and society. "You are the salt of the earth" He tells them. I am sending you into the world to preserve (to save) the world just as salt preserves meat from worms to breed in it so I am sending you to preserve (to save) it from evil and sin. The disciples have been given by Him preservative powers, the grace of the Holy Spirit, necessary for life and the ability to give "flavor".
"You are the salt of the earth". The Prophets were sent to one race of people only, but you (disciples) "are the salt of the whole earth. By your teachings and reproofs you act as an astingent upoon the slack and the indolent, so that they will not breed the worms that never die. So donto desire from you astingent reproofs, even if you reviled or persecuted. Therefore He says: "But if the salt loses its flavor, how shallit be seasoned? It is therefore good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men". For if the teacher has become insipid, that is, if he doe not give astringent reproofs, but has become soft and lax, "how shall it be seasoned?" that is, how can this be corrected? So from then on he is cast out from the rank of teacher and is trodden under foot, that is, despised. (Saint Theophylact)
As "the salt of the earth" Christians are to be preservers of God’s covenant and give the proper "flavor" to society. It means that the Christian must be willing to suffer for Christ. They are to manifest the "light" of patient goodness, bringing glory to their "Father in heaven." Because of its preservetive powers, necessary for life and its significance to give flavor, or as some would say, meaning or purpose in life.
The Christian life is one of virtue, righteousness, and "light". By living according to the gospel Christians are able to inspire others and bring them to the knowledge of the truth. The Christian that is willing to teach the word of God to others must himself/herself be ready to put into practice. To teach what one does not practice condemns the teacher (Romans 2:21). We ought to do right and teach ourselves, before we attempt to set other right.
Is there a possibility today that humanity is facing a salt deficiency? That what salt remains has lost its flavor? Is this reason why that our society is faced with a major spiritual crisis? What is needed is to seek its Source, Christ, and begin once again to produce it and to flood the world with it. We know that in ancient Greece worshippers consecrated salt in their rituals. Jewish Temple offerings included salt. Covenants in both the Old and New Testaments were often sealed with salt: the origin of the word "salvation." It is imperative, however, for the Christians to understand how much the world, this secular world, needs the spiritual salt that only our Lord Jesus Christ can provide. Salvation can only cocme from Him for only He can preserve humanity from corruption and death.
Our world today is saturated with the so called "comforts and pleasures" of life. Its appetite for material goods is out of countrol and humanity has become spiritually and morally weak. People are immersed in their earthly possessions and are enslaved by them. There is great apathy and indifference to God’s Gospel and way of life. More and more people realize that the human race is heading toward the abyss. However it is never too late to change this course and to rediscover God and invited Him into our lives. There is no other solution to this spiritual crisis!
"Glory Be To GOD