Khao phad poo is aroy maak! Fried rice with crab meat is a popular dish in Thailand. It tastes so good! It is inexpensive, commonly available and very much part of daily, ordinary life. Rice, eggs, and crabmeat are tossed in a wok together with garlic, spring onion, fish sauce and some lime juice. A small amount of salt is added as seasoning, vitally necessary for the overall taste.
“You are the salt of the earth”
We are called in life to be this difference maker, to season the lives of people around us. We have heard this call often enough but may not have thought it as a call for you and me. We are just ordinary people, the simple person on the street, trying to juggle resources between self, family and work. We appear in the pew on Sundays and hear calls to evangelise, to become a fisher of men and be “light to the world”.
We are as ‘ordinary’ as salt. We leave the pews preoccupied with our secular life. These calls do not enter our hearts as after all, “I am just the ordinary person, not knowing enough and unqualified to evangelise”.
But God is interested precisely in this ‘ordinary’. Ordinary people like you and I are the abundance of the world, like salt abundant in the earth. We are not the highly-valued in society, like salt not the most eye-catching ingredient in the fried rice. In the wok, the crabmeat may look to be the most significant ingredient but in truth, it is in the coming together of all ingredients that a delicious dish can be produced. The ordinary cheap salt share equal importance to the crabmeat, they each play their unique roles.
In the wok of life, our individual lives are inter-connected in this way. We are unique, all of us different as individuals faced with different situations in life. There is no one else like our individual self in personality and situation. We are uniquely special.
And so, we are uniquely placed in this inter-connectedness with others in our ordinary, daily life. You and I are called to be salt and light to people we are connected with.
No one else is in a better position to do this. God wants us precisely where we are now, even in our unqualified state, because it is only from precisely this unique position where He can use us to touch the lives of others connected to us. We can be the difference maker.
A little salt makes a vast difference. The vastness of this difference comes from the inter-connectedness of unique individuals in life, much like the coming together of all ingredients. The whole is greater than the sum of all parts. This math belong to God, it is his work as the master-chef. Our role is that as salt. He will make the result vast.
When the wok of life becomes heated with challenges, when our juggling start to fail, we will realise that it is only through relying on our inter-connectedness with each other that we will be able to get out of the hot wok. God the master chef will make sure of this. We only have to embrace our role as the salty difference maker.
The deliciousness of the fried rice with crabmeat belongs to his glory.
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time