Only for the Deserving

Matthew 7: 6, 12-14
Gen 13: 2, 5-18 / Psa 15

Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before swine . . .
(Matthew 7:6)

The Word of God’s not for all men
Who think life in this world’s enough.
We know our way to heaven when
The road is narrow, steep and rough.

(Jesus said to His disciples), “Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. . . In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up 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 enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7: 6, 12-14)

Reflection

Not all men are as receptive to God’s call as we would like to believe. One has to sift through the grain and the chaff. Most of those who turn away are addicted to the pleasures and leisurely pursuits of this world. It is not to everyone that we are called to evangelize, but we are expected to be more discerning with whom we bring the Word of God to. As our Lord tells us, not many will choose the hard road of conversion and the narrow gate of trials, because the lure of the wide and spacious road of temporal pleasures is too strong for many to resist. We know that it is the difficult path that leads to life, and we should only be so grateful to God that we have been called to take it. Hard as His Way might be, it will toughen our sinews and steel our resolve to withstand the temptations of the enemy.

At times, though, we must not give up inviting a prospect or couple whom we believe would be a good asset to our community. Every time I saw my friend, a lay minister in our parish, I kept inviting him and his wife to join us in our breakfast fellowships. Our persistence eventually paid off, and soon they were attending our breakfast as often as they could, and eventually took the 9-week BCLP for full membership. Seeing this couple now, happily serving the Lord as group leaders in our brotherhood, we feel glad knowing that the pearls we threw to them were not wasted.

As God’s privileged few, let us share the gift that the Lord has given us to those who are deserving. As others had done for us, bringing us to Christ through the brotherhood, so we must also do for others. This, after all, is the Golden Rule. But let us give more value to the precious pearl of faith that we have received, and be more discerning whether it may be futile to convince those who are deaf to the Good News that we bear, and blind to Christ’s light that we wish to share. They may already have chosen a different path from ours, and sadly, that is their fate.

Our other important mission is to strengthen each other in our community, especially brothers and sisters who are experiencing trials and hardships in the small gate and narrow road that leads to God’s kingdom. It is also our responsibility to make sure that those who have already responded to God’s call will not be lured outside once more.

Guide me Lord to find deserving laborers for Your vineyard: those who walk without blame, who speak truth from their heart, and do what is right. (Psalm 15:2-3) Amen.

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