Who Is Better Off Because Of You?
5th Sunday Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: February 5, 2023
Do you ever watch cooking shows? When you watch top chefs, one thing I notice is that they use salt. I tend to use less for health reasons. But, good chefs use salt for a simple reason. It makes the food taste better, it adds flavour to food.
When Jesus tells us that we are the “salt of the earth”, he is saying that you and I are to add flavour to the life of others. Like salt making food taste better, we should make the life of others better. Your spouse, your children or grandchildren, your parents or grandparents, your friends, your neighbours, your fellow parishioners. Is their life better off because of you? Do you add flavour to their life?
By the way you talk, by the example you give, by the care you offer, by the time you spend with them, is the life of others better off. Are you like salt in their life? You do not see the salt used in cooking, but you can taste the difference if it is missing. A Christian life should add flavour to the life of others.
What is the sign of holiness? Holiness is not mainly about memorizing the bible or the catechism. Holiness is not mainly about living a life of purity. But, one big sign of holiness is the positive impact we have on the life of others. Are you able to say that the life of others around you is better off because of you? Are you able to say that the life of others has more flavour because of you?
Pope Paul VI wrote a letter called Evangelii Nuntiandi on Evangelization back in 1975. In it one line that I have always remembered is this, “People today listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if they do listen to teachers, it is because they are also witnesses.”
If we are to proclaim the Gospel in our world today, it will be first of all by our example. It will be by what people see in our lives. Many people I have seen through the years who choose to become Catholic, will say that it was inspired by what they saw in a Catholic family or in the life of Catholic co-worker or neighbour.
Think over your life. Who is someone who was salt in your life? Who was someone who has made your life better? What about yourself? Is there someone that you were like salt in their life? Who would be someone whose life has been better because of you?
Jesus says, “you are the salt of the earth.” We are to add flavour to the life of others, to make their life better by our presence. At the end of our life, the important question will be, Who is better off because I have been on this planet?