Jesus gives us some great one liners in today’s Gospel. (Matthew 7: 6, 12-14)
Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
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.
The bottom line to these ‘pearls’ of wisdom and divine instruction is this: Jesus is the narrow way.
Starting with the first instruction regarding proper use of what is holy, one must consider ‘what is holy’? The definition and origin of all this is holy is God Himself. Each of us is created by God, and thus we believe that all human life is sacred; holy. We are created in God’s image and likeness. Each person is thus a reflection of the Divine. In fact, each person is more than a reflection of God, because God gives us a soul, we carry a spark of the Divine within us.
This relationship between the human person and God is sacred – holy – and deserves respect and daily attention. The relationship between God and each person is intimate, mysterious, and personal, so that God’s own instruction to each of us is simply: “Be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16)
It is easy to see how Jesus moves from the simple instruction regarding holiness then to give us the well known ‘golden rule’: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” If we believe each human person is holy, each person deserves our respect and acknowledgement of their dignity.
Society is failing today on so many levels in the ability to treat every human person, from conception to natural death, with dignity and respect. Sadly, we seem as a culture today far too often to be ‘throwing what is holy to swine.’ In this country alone, abortion takes the lives of millions of unborn children each year. Violence takes far too many lives. Lack of respect has removed common civility from public discourse. Every possible form of ‘entertainment’ is available today, from abuse of drugs and alcohol to human trafficking, to pornography; all of which diminish the dignity of the human person.
Once we recover a proper understanding of the human person, whose dignity and sanctity is rooted in the Creator, we will be far better prepared to rediscover our moral compass.
Finally, the root of Jesus’ teaching today: “Enter through the narrow gate.” Jesus tells us elsewhere in the Gospel: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” “I am the light of the world.”
In this month of June, we recall the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Access to this heart is through the narrow opening in the pierced side of Christ. In our world today, Jesus is calling us to his heart. Let us take time today and every day to enter into the heart of Christ, that his warmth and love may melt away the hardness of our hearts. In Jesus Christ we find the richness of our own identity as a child of God.
In Christ, we find our ‘narrow way’ through this life, to the life that is eternal with God.