Salt, perhaps the most common kitchen seasoning, may also have the most interesting backstory.
References to salt make an appearance in the bible, fifty times actually. It was used as a form of payment for Roman soldiers. The Latin root of the word salt is the origin of our word “salary” and where saying like “worth his salt” stem from. And today also happens to be the 90th anniversary of the Salt March.
Blessed salt is a sacramental used in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Just as it is utilized for seasoning food and for preservation from corruption, it is symbolic of preservation and spiritual incorruptibility.
In Ezekial 16:4 we witness salt being used to dry and harden the skin of newborns, perhaps as both a physical and spiritual preservative. In Matthew 5:13, salt is a symbol of wisdom. In Mark 9:49-50, it shows up again as a preservative “For everyone will be salted with fire” and it becomes a symbol of friendship and hospitality as we are instructed (after a slightly terrifying discourse on temptations to sin) to “Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another”, referring to its pleasant flavoring.
Finally, we see this same pattern in Jesus’ words, where He describes his disciples as the “salt of the earth” in Matthew 5:13. This salt indicated that His chosen ones were to be preserved from the corruption of this world and to spread grace, peace, and hope to all corners of it.
When we reach for the salt, it can be a good opportunity to reflect on what we are doing to both preserve ourselves (and those souls for which we have the responsibility of formation) from the corruption of this world and perhaps making it a more pleasant place to be by adding our own little happy flavoring.