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Thursday, February 23, 2017

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St. Polycarp

Sirach 5:1-8
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Mark 9:41-50

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pass the salt?

"Everyone will be salted with fire." —Mark 9:49

Jesus says that you and I "will be salted with fire" (Mk 9:49). The scriptural uses for salt reveal several possible meanings:

  • Salt was used to seal a covenant (2 Chr 13:5; Lv 2:13). We need to continually be sprinkled with the salt of the purifying, refining fire of repentance (Mal 3:2-3) to be faithful to our baptismal covenant with the Lord.
  • Incense was "to be salted and so kept pure and sacred" (Ex 30:35). Incense represents our prayers (Rv 5:8; 8:3-4). Our life of prayer must be salted with God's consuming fire (Heb 12:29) of love to be "kept pure and sacred."
  • "Every...offering that you present to the Lord shall be seasoned with salt" (Lv 2:13). We offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices (Rm 12:1). Physical sacrifices such as fasting and self-denial are like sprinklings of fire which help us to be pure and avoid hell (Mk 9:43ff). This kind of salt purifies and preserves from death (see 2 Kgs 2:21).
  • Salt preserves (Tb 6:6) and flavors (Jb 6:6). Paradoxically, a sprinkling of fire, which should destroy us, can actually preserve that in us which is worthy (see 1 Cor 3:12-15).

"You are the salt of the earth" (Mt 5:13). Get fired up!

Prayer:  Father, don't just sprinkle me with fire; set me aflame with Your love.

Promise:  "Keep salt in your hearts and you will be at peace with one another." —Mk 9:50

Praise:  St. Polycarp, a disciple of the original apostles, was burned at the stake for his faith in Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(Come and worship with the community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Discipleship Center in beautiful Adams County, Ohio. Check our website for the schedule of retreats or come for a silent retreat on your own.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2016

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