In our first reading today we find ourselves back in the Book of Genesis, reading about Abram and Lot. For our Gospel reading, we’re back in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7. What I want to reflect on today will be difficult for some to hear, and will certainly put some people off. Please be forewarned.
Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” First, we have to understand what Jesus meant in His time. Dogs and swine were derogatory epithets that the Jews used for pagans. So was Jesus here name-calling? Perhaps. He did not single out any individual, but He was speaking of people who had contempt for the Gospel, be they Jew or Gentile. This advice from Jesus should strike very close to home for us in our time.
We are called to be keepers and defenders of truth. When we begin to capitulate to the world, when we start watering down our faith, when we go along to get along, we are throwing our pearls before swine. Those who despise the gospel, those who wish to marginalize Christianity and, indeed, bring down Holy Mother Church, are alive and well. When we buy into the idea that Holy Matrimony is anything other than what God created it to be (i.e. between one man and one woman), when we stand idly by as they chip away at our religious liberty by forcing people of faith to violate their consciences , when we believe that the murder of innocent children in the womb is somehow acceptable, we are giving what is holy to dogs and throwing our pearls before swine. Rest assured that they want nothing more than to turn and tear us to pieces. This process has already started, and continues apace, even among Christians. Read the last part of today’s Gospel reading about the broad road that leads to destruction and the narrow gate that few will find. If we continue to throw our pearls before swine and sacrifice at the altar of convenience, we will surely find that broad road. Let us get a backbone and seek out the narrow gate.
Father, forgive us for giving what is holy to dogs and throwing our pearls before swine. Give us the strength to stand up for what is holy, no matter the earthly cost. Amen.
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