Pearls Only for the Deserving

Matthew 7: 6,12-14
2 Kgs 19: 9b-11,14-21,31-36 / Ps 48

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.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. . . So 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

Once we are in the community of our choice, happily enjoying the warm camaraderie of a support group, we are encouraged to sponsor others (friends, relatives or business associates to join our brotherhood. But we find that many people scoff at the prospect of being recruited into the fold. The standard answer to our invitation is “I’m not yet ready,” or “I really don’t have the time.” We can only hope they realize soon that no one in this life has the luxury of time.

One has to sift through the grain and the chaff. Not all men are as receptive to God’s Word as we would like to believe. Most of those who turn away are addicted to the pleasures and leisures 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 met my friend, a lay minister in our parish, I kept inviting him and his wife to join us in our breakfast fellowship. My persistence eventually paid off, and soon they were attending our breakfast as often as they could, and eventually took the 9-week Christian Life Program for full membership. Seeing this couple now, happily serving the Lord in our brotherhood, I feel glad knowing that the pearls I threw then were not wasted.

As God’s privileged few, let us share the wisdom that the Lord has given us to those who are more deserving. It’s 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 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, so 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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