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».
Many of us look towards the eternal life or bliss and convinced that it is available only after death. In our march towards the perfection of our spiritual life, some of us are voluntarily make us available for the cross or suffering. To some, the narrow gate may represent these above like realities. Though they carry a valour in themselves to master in a given situation of eventualities, somewhere our priorities of life is misplaced, fixing largely towards heaven, than on this earth.
The Franciscan spirituality may be of very utile for such people, to find the same heavenly bliss, (though in a limited way as says saint Paul) on this earth. The narrow way is related to our priorities and discernment in our decision process.
The less we prioritise our priorities, the more confused we will be before the possible choices of life. Once our priority is finalised, then to choose the right door, won’t be a difficult process, because, we have the certitude though limited to our human intelligence, that this door will lead us to the desired destination of life, God.
«Do not give what is holy to the dogs»
Deacon Fr. Evaldo PINA FILHO
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.