Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? (Mark 9:50)
Did you know that every day, God calls you “very good” (Genesis 1:31)? Even with your sins, weaknesses, and wounds, he delights in you. He never tires of holding out his dreams and goals for your life. So if you find that you have lost some of the “flavour,” vigor, and energy that God has endowed you with, know that you can restore it. It’s never too late!
But how can this happen? By grace.
Scripture tells us that Jesus came to live among us, “full of grace and truth,” and that “from his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace” (John 1:14, 16). This means that, not only have you been saved by the grace of God, but his grace surrounds you constantly. Every time you breathe in, you can welcome it. And anything you’ve “lost,” any enthusiasm that might have waned, can be restored with each breath.
This can be so hard to believe! How can I, sinner that I am, have such free and constant access to God’s unfailing grace? But it’s true. Jesus died in order to win this grace for you; how can he hold back now?
There’s something else here too. If you “re-flavour” yourself by welcoming God’s grace, you’ll find yourself growing in peace with the people around you. Look at the stories from Mark’s Gospel that come just before today’s reading. A father whose faith is faltering receives the grace to believe (Mark 9:14-29). Glory-seeking disciples receive the grace to be humble (9:31-37). Those who sought to exclude people are urged to receive the grace to accept them (9:38-41). In each instance, life and peace were restored. God wants this for you as well! He wants you to have peace in yourself so that you can have peace with other people.
If there is an area of your life in which you feel you have lost some “saltiness,” don’t panic. Just sit quietly with the Lord. Praise him for his mercy. Thank him for his grace. And then just breathe—slowly, deeply, calmly. Let his Spirit fill you with his grace. Let his love, his word, and his promises soften your heart. Let him restore you.
“Thank you, Jesus, for all the grace you have ready for me today!”
Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania