I distressed Sr Frances no end this evening when I sat down to supper. She had prepared a carefully seasoned turkey meatloaf, with a side of peppers, onions and mushrooms. One look at my plate, though, and her face fell. I had liberally adorned my untasted meatloaf with ketchup. Foodie I may be, but my secret love in the kitchen is ketchup. Desert island and only one condiment allowed? It's going to be ketchup. Good old, all-purpose, on-your-scrambled-eggs in the morning or you meatloaf at night ketchup. But for Sr. Frances, ketchup is only something you put on something that's insipid and dried out. I had to really convince her that when I saw the meatloaf, my reaction was, "Oh, boy! A platform for ketchup!"
Flavor makes a difference. When it comes to a choice between sweet and savory, the salty food will always get my vote. But we've heard so much about the evils of a high sodium diet that Jesus' words about salt needing to be salty lose some of their flavor on first hearing. What does he mean about salt "losing its flavor"? Could it be related to the first part of today's Gospel, where Jesus speaks of the blessing those will receive who give merely a cup of cold water to someone just for being a disciple? I mean, how could a disciple of Christ be recognized, if not by a certain newness, a certain savory quality that was apparent through everyday activity? (It's not like they wore gold crosses on neck chains back then, or pious t-shirts...) So if we blend in so much with the rest of society that without the chain or the t-shirt no one would realize we believe all that Jesus stuff, it could be time for a re-salting. Impossible in the mineral world (I presume), but not in the world of grace. In fact, when I went to Communion today, I asked for extra salt!