JUNE 22. Wk 12. Ord Time B. Tues. Mt. 7. 6, 12-14
Updated: Sep 10
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.
‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life and only a few find it.’
What Christ is pointing out to us in this reading is the value we should put on the treasure of the Catholic Faith; - a truth we need to be reminded of; - as when a person has been given a great treasure it is very easy for them to take it for granted; - and not appreciate its value.
How relevant this teaching is today; - where Catholics are being asked, by the world, on an almost daily basis to turn away from their Faith and enjoy life; - a call that is being answered regularly by many Catholics who choose to walk away from their Faith in God and his divine love.
And why? Because it asks too much of them! The World’s values are all around us, and particularly in the media that sits in the middle of nearly every Catholic home; - and in social media on the internet, that is truly “taking the world by storm”, with its constant invite to “listen to our teachings; - come and enjoy life!”
This is a call that is difficult to resist unless we have a strong and deep Faith in the Catholic Church and its teachings; - something that is becoming a rarity; - given the attendance figures at Sunday Mass; - the dwindling reception of Confession; - or the fact that the majority of Catholics today do not believe in the Eucharist.
And while Christ’s teachings in today’s Gospel was given two thousand years ago; - it could have been spoken today given the circumstances the Church; - and individual Catholics; - find themselves in!
“‘Do not give dogs what is holy; - and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs” is a call to realise what we have in the gift of Faith and to protect it from all the pressures to “abandon something of great value; - and give it to the dogs!”
The outstanding gifts inherent in the Catholic Faith; - that are totally overlooked by those who walk away from their Faith, include; - the truth we are all creatures of a Loving Creator; - that this love is the only reason we were created; - that despite our sinfulness God sent his only Son to bear witness to the divine Love by dying on a Cross in reparation for our sins; - and then there is the ultimate truth we are made aware of each day; - that our death is fast approaching; - a truth that those who walk away from their Faith do not want to think about!
It would be hard to put this need to value and care for our Faith more succinctly than Christ has in this reading; - “‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it!”
Those who “throw their faith to the dogs” are being told the dogs might result in their being ‘torn to pieces!’ when the time comes for them to meet their creator when this earthly life ends!
Gospel Acclamation Jn8:12
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
First reading Genesis 13:2,5-18 ·
Abram settles in the land of Canaan and builds an altar to the Lord
Abram was a very rich man, with livestock, silver and gold. Lot, who was travelling with Abram, had flocks and cattle of his own, and tents too. The land was not sufficient to accommodate them both at once, for they had too many possessions to be able to live together. Dispute broke out between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and those of Lot’s. (The Canaanites and the Perizzites were then living in the land.) Accordingly Abram said to Lot, ‘Let there be no dispute between me and you, nor between my herdsmen and yours, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land open before you? Part company with me: if you take the left, I will go right; if you take the right, I will go left.’
Looking round, Lot saw all the Jordan plain, irrigated everywhere – this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah – like the garden of the Lord or the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar. So Lot chose all the Jordan plain for himself and moved off eastwards. Thus they parted company: Abram settled in the land of Canaan; Lot settled among the towns of the plain, pitching his tents on the outskirts of Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were vicious men, great sinners against the Lord.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted company with him, ‘Look all round from where you are towards the north and the south, towards the east and the west. All the land within sight I will give to you and your descendants for ever. I will make your descendants like the dust on the ground: when men succeed in counting the specks of dust on the ground, then they will be able to count your descendants! Come, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for I mean to give it to you.’
So Abram went with his tents to settle at the Oak of Mamre, at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.