June 21, 2016

Gospel MT 7:6, 12-14
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”
Reflection:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”
We have each met people who are simply not open to listening to Christ’s message, “Love one another.”
It is useless to try to “talk to them” about God. Their reaction is to scorn and ridicule, to take our words and “trample them underfoot.”
That is not to imply that such individuals should be abandoned.
As Christians, we are still called to “behave” as Christians toward them.
What may not be possible with words may very well be attained through the example of how we live.
There is a story about a group of Christians from different backgrounds discussing methods of evangelizing.
A young native girl was asked, “How do you teach others about Christ?”
She answered, “We send two young Christian families into their village to live among them.”
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.”
Our “human” reaction to being treated unfairly is usually to “give back in kind.”
But, as a Christian, a follower of Christ, we are called to overcome our natural human tendencies to retaliate. We are expected to return kindness for unkindness, love for hate, mildness for rudeness, and acceptance for rejection.
We will fail in our efforts. But, being Christian is not about perfection; it is about continuing to make the effort. Progress, not perfection, must be the Christian’s goal, for only Christ is perfect.
“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”
There is a gate that leads into the city of Jerusalem that is so narrow that a visiting merchant with a heavily ladened camel cannot pass through it.
If we take on the ways of this world, an eye for an eye, cheating those who cheat us, insult for insult, hate for hate, then these “burdens” we chose to carry will prevent us from entering through the narrow gate of Heaven.
Instead, Jesus tells us: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:29
“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to let another person or event control your emotions.” – – Pema Chodron