Contemplating today's Gospel

Liturgical day: Tuesday 12th in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Mt 7,6.12-14): Jesus said to his disciples, «Do not give what is holy to the dogs, or throw your pearls to the pigs: they might trample on them and even turn on you and tear you to pieces. So, do to others whatever you would that others do to you: there you have the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many go that way. How narrow is the gate that leads to life and how rough the road; few there are who find it».

Comment: Deacon Fr. Evaldo PINA FILHO (Brasilia, Brazil)

«Do not give what is holy to the dogs»

Today, the Lord makes three recommendations. The first one, «Do not give what is holy to the dogs, or throw your pearls to the pigs» (Mt 7:6), makes a contrast in which “assets” are associated with “pearls” and to what “is holy”; and “dogs and pigs” to what is impure. Saint John Chrysostom teaches us that «our enemies are like us in nature but not in faith». Although the earthly benefits are equally distributed to the worthy and unworthy, it is not so when it comes to “spiritual graces”, which are a privilege of those who are faithful to God. The right distribution of spiritual assets is related to the zeal for sacred things.

The second is the so called “rule of gold” (cf. Mt 7:12), which encompasses everything the Law and the Prophets recommended, like branches of a single tree: the love of one’s neighbor presupposes the love of God, from which it comes.

Doing unto our neighbor what we would have done to us implies transparency of actions towards the other, the acknowledgement of their similitude to God, of their dignity. Why do we want the Good for ourselves? Because we recognize it as a means of identity and union with the Creator. Since the Good is, for us, the only means to achieve life in its fullest, its absence is unconceivable in our relationship with our neighbors. There is no place for the good where falseness prevails and evil preponders.

Lastly, the “narrow gate”… Pope Benedict asks us: «What does this "narrow door" mean? Why do many not succeed in entering through it? Is it a way reserved for only a chosen few? » No! The message of Christ is that «everyone may enter life, but the door is "narrow" for all. We are not privileged. The passage to eternal life is open to all, but it is "narrow" because it is demanding: it requires commitment, self-denial and the mortification of one's selfishness».

Let us pray to the Lord, who won universal salvation with His own life and resurrection, to gather us all in the eternal life Banquet.

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