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One night I walked into the TV room and some of the guys were watching a cooking completion on the food network. There was a guy that really wanted to win. He was running from one end of the kitchen to the other grabbing ingredients and adding to his skillets. The competition in comparison looked like they were bored, stirring a pot and yawning. But this guy had food inside the stove cooking; four skillets were going at the same time on the stovetop. He was throwing all kinds of stuff in the blender for his sauce. He plated and his steak had perfect diamond grill marks and creamy mashed potatoes with a rich-looking sauce. Surely, I thought, this guy is going to win. He lost. He forgot to put salt on the food. The judges asked him. “Did you forget the seasoning?” He put his head down and said “Yes.” Did he forget to use salt? Are you kidding? Salt is the cheapest thing in the kitchen. It is the easiest thing to do. You just pitch or shake. You do not even have to measure. When Christ says that we are the salt of the earth, it is a little insulting don’t you think? Can’t I be a lobster tail or à la mode or maybe a hot chili pepper? Yes, salt doesn’t cost us that much and it is the easiest thing we can do when we cook, but without it, everything is bland. But with it, we bring out the best in everything.
One time I had to go to attend a workshop. I told my mother that I would not be able to see her that week. When it was noontime, the committee chair told us that there was a two-hour break before for lunch. I thought I would have enough time to visit mom after all. I stopped on the way to get her an ice cream shake before I got to the nursing home. When I got there, mom was alone in her room sitting in her wheelchair slouched over. I tapped her on the shoulders and she looked up and saw me with a goofy smile holding her mocha frappe. She was so surprised to see me. She said, “I thought you had a workshop this week. I said, “I did but I am on break.” She was so happy and surprised to see me that tears welled up in her eyes and then the waterworks. I said, “Mom, it’s just me,” She said, “You told me you couldn’t come today, but I was still hoping.” That is what we do. What we do as Christians does not cost us much, and it is not hard. Know this, we are the best thing that ever happened to the world. Without salt everything is bland. But when we live Christ’s life, we bring out the best in everyone.Back to All Homilies