Salt is good, but, if the salt should lose its saltiness, what will you use to season it?
You must have salt in yourselves, and live at peace with one another.”
antecedents are tricky
when talking of salt
that burns tongue
and all connected to it
should your flame burn out
how in the middle of the deep
with no things no body
at beck or call
fire ants know connection
even in a whelming flood
floating toward a next shore
to begin again
mere humans need intention
to build a sustainable community
leaping up when ebbing
encouraged one to another
This conversation began with a question about what the disciples were arguing about between themselves (9:33). The result is to remains salty with one another as well as with those in the world around them.
There are many references of the importance of salt. It is used in religious rituals, healing, and preserving; it is a sign of hospitality, disobedience, genocide; and more.
The repetition of salt from the last verse suggests a connection with suffering brought on through a lack of awareness of an independent good and its transgression leading to “hell” in this life or whatever is projected after it.
Mark is using salt as a vehicle of choice and transformation between arguing (fighting over a limited resource) and suffering (lived consequence of living wider and deeper than the convention of any society or politics of the day) and the way of healing (returning to a wholeness of salvation, hospitality, healing) and peace (connecting a wider context and deeper identity into a new partnership).
What happens if “you” lose “yourself”? How will you regain your right mind? [Substitute “salt” for “you”.]
If we peek ahead, Acts 1:4 records Jesus’ post-rising “meeting with” (συναλίζω, synalizō, “while having salt with”) the disciples. This affirmation and assurance of peace beyond rivalry, betrayal, and abandonment stands as an ever-present choice. This peace beckons us beyond any present suffering and death. Fear not.