Thursday, February 28, 2019
Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
“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.” Mark 9:49-50
Are you ready to be “salted with fire?” Jesus makes it clear that everyone will go through this “salting.” So what does this actually mean?
Adding salt to food brings forth the flavor. It doesn’t so much change the food into something else; rather, it enhances what is there, adding more to the taste.
Salt also has the effect of purifying. It’s used as a preservative and helps to rid food of bacteria. Both of these images of flavoring and preserving are worth looking at.
Being “salted with fire” means that we are purified by God. Fire purifies and refines. Heat is used to sanitize utensils, fire is used to purify gold, and it is also used to mold precious metals into images or jewelry.
So it is with us. We must be purified by the fire of God in every way. Sin must be purged and we must become malleable by the fire of God so that we can be molded into His divine image.
But how does this happen? One way is when we are purged of all fleshly desires and appetites that are selfish and opposed to the will of God. This can be painful and, hence, the image of fire. Another way is when we are purified on the deeper level of the spirit. This may happen when we are given some heavy cross to carry and we do so with patience and acceptance. When our will is challenged and tested, we have an opportunity to turn our own will over to God and to choose His will. But His will often times includes a full embrace of any suffering we endure. In that case, suffering can have the effect of purifying us on the deepest level of our will and, thus, suffering becomes redemptive for us.
Reflect, today, upon the purifying action of God in your life. Reflect, especially, upon any ways that you feel the pain of some suffering that you do not want to embrace. Know that a full embrace of this suffering may actually produce the purification God wants in your life so as to make you truly holy and pure.
Lord, I pray that You purify my soul of all sin. Help me, first, to be freed of all fleshly attachments that interfere with my love of You. Help me, also, to be free of my own will. May the sufferings and cross in my life become a true grace through which You free me and help me to grow strong in patience and all virtue. I give myself to You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.