Daily Reflection
May 23rd, 2002
Joan Lanahan
Nursing School Chaplain
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James 5:1-6
Psalm 49:14-15, 15-16, 17-18, 19-20
Mark 9:41-50


"Woe to you." 

Doesn't this sound like a big, burly, authoritarian person shaking his/her finger in your face?  Our readings today are from what I call "the woe tradition" of sacred scripture.  They are threatening.  Though they were meant to be exhortations.  James was trying to tell people how to live a good Christian moral life in his letter.

While there are some world cultures that abide by "if your hand is your difficulty, cut it off."  Most of us in our sophisticated western world would frown on this behavior.  There are preachers today who speak as James and Luke, "woe to you rich, for your consolation is now."

I'd rather look at "salt" as in Mark 50.  This verse relates to Leviticus 2:13 which speaks of salt as "the salt of the covenant of your God!"  A ritual of Old Testament, people included salt in a meal together as a symbol of friendship and alliance.  Salt spoke to people of "heart connections."

"You are the salt of the earth."  What can that mean to me, to you?  We can spice our apathetic corporations by being ethical people.  We can seek the faith in our everyday lives by questioning the headlines of our newspapers and TV news, "is there more to this story?"  We can search for the Presence of God in the people and events of our day.  We can build our close relationships one person at a time.

Motivation is our key.  What motivates us to be "salty people?"  Let it be Jesus! 

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