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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus asks, “If salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?” That question ought to bother us as much today as it did Jesus’ audience long ago. What he means is that a weak Christianity is a disaster for the world, for the world depends upon the Christian Church in order to become what it was meant to be.

Consider the truly awful gun violence in the streets of Chicago and other large American cities. A vibrant Christianity would actively get in the way of this affront to human dignity. Vibrant Christian churches would rub salt into the earth of this violence; vibrant Christian witness would be a city set on a hill.

Consider the tens of millions of unborn eliminated over the past fifty years. I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of the mothers and fathers of these murdered children came from a Christian background. Why wasn’t their Christianity strong enough to function as salt and light? Why wasn’t their faith illuminating enough to shine a light into the darkness of what they were doing?

The clear implication is that without vibrant Christians, the world is a much worse place.