Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 20, 2012 | Comments (0)

Pentecost XVIII Bottom Line Spirituality:Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Pentecost 18

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

It is essential to know the difference between Worldly and Godly thinking. Worldly thinking looks at what salt is. Godly understanding looks at what salt does.

Mark 9:38-50. Spiritual Salt is Good. “Have salt among yourselves, and be at Peace with each other."

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for salt.

This parable is the difference between one dimensional thinking, what we think salt tastes like rationally, and two dimensionally, how we spiritually use salt to preserve things.

What did Jesus mean by salt? He is talking not about what salt is. He is talking about how spiritual salt works. Spiritual salt, as in all his metaphors such as "the door", "the gate", and "the Way" is the Love and Grace of God, freely given. It brings Peace and harmony in the community. It is very valuable and needed. "Everyone will be salted with fire." The fire is the Love and Grace given through the Holy Spirit. As Love, it is the spice of our spiritual community life. As Grace, it must be freely shared and not hoarded.

The disciples are the salt of the earth, the agents of Grace and Love. If they, or we, lose our effectiveness in preserving and proclaiming God's Love and Grace, what use are we?

The distinctive character of spiritual salt is preserving Peace and Harmony in the community. We forget the disciples just got rationally "salty" with each other. They were salted with something very valuable about His Love for them through His death and resurrection. They were about to lose their spiritual saltiness by their jealous fighting over who was the greatest. This is not the way you can keep your saltiness, your worth, or values when fighting with each other. Jesus' intention was to bring them together as a team once He was gone. What would they do? Jesus told them not to seek position or prestige.

He did not want them to decide who gets how much salt. They might think to let Judas decide the portions. He handles the money. He would know how to give proper shares of salt to each one.

The rest of the teaching is about keeping Peace and Harmony through Love. They are upset over a person, not one of them, using His name. Jesus explains if a person is going to use His name, that person cannot speak poorly of Him.

He then warns about mistreating the powerless. He is not talking about cutting off physical hands or feet or eyes. He is talking about negative emotions that come through the rational head and out of the conscious heart. Cut them off by opening our heart to create the thought from the feelings of Love of His Presence within.

Salt is the blessing of Love and Grace freely given by God. In marriage some people are willing to toss their salt away by fighting over who is right and why the other is wrong. If it is counted by who has the most, its tastiness is thrown away by a divorce. No one gets anything.

Have you ever been in a salt fight?

"I have more salt than you have."

"I have better salt than you have."

"You call that salt!"

Help flavor other people. Give them the flavor of Love and grace to preserve what the relationship needs.


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