In today’s Gospel Our Lord warns us that not everyone is enthusiastic or necessarily open to receiving the Gospel message. Some are openly hostile to the Christian message. Sharing the Gospel requires slow and patient work as well as prudence, and it is not easy, because we imitate Christ, and his earthly ministry culminated on the Cross. It’s a fine line between not shying away from martyrdom and deciding whether sharing something holy and valuable with those who not only don’t appreciate it, but may be openly hostile about it, will really achieve the results we’d hope.
The things of God are both holy and valuable, as represented by the pearl in today’s Gospel. Dogs and swine in the Bible often represent anger, obstinacy, and impurity and represent people who are hostile or impure. Not only will angry, obstinate, and impure people not appreciate holy things or valuable things, but may react violently if such things are offered. Jesus’ teaches us to do to others as we’d hope they’d do to us, and for some souls that is the way to help them draw closer to God: a kindness and consideration that may win them over instead of going straight to doctrine. We have to be on guard against taking the approaches of “dogs” or “swines” either.
Let’s pray that we find and stick to that narrow road and narrow gate Our Lord points out to us and ask him to enlighten us as to the best way to help each soul find them as well.
Readings: Genesis 13:2, 5–18; Psalm 15:2–4b, 5; Matthew 7:6, 12–14.