“Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine”
Have you ever wondered what this passage is about? In the ancient world pearls were considered precious and of great value. Pearls were worn to enhance one’s appearance.
Holiness is and being faithful to God’s love in how we think, speak and treat others.
Why does Jesus contrast holiness and pearls with dogs and swine? Jewish law regarded swine as unclean as well as wild dogs. Jesus is encouraging us to stay away from those things that are spiritually or morally unclean. (Gospel of Matthew-Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations https://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org matt7v6)
This scripture passage challenges us to be prudent and good stewards of the gifts God has given us especially the gift of the earth. This would include taking care of ourselves because our health and wellness are gifts.
Another part of today’s gospel is the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” God calls us to an unconditional love which embraces all of humankind. When we love our neighbor unconditionally, we fulfill the law of God and the prophets. (Gospel of Matthew-Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations https://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org >matt7v6)
Jesus’ use of the narrow gate is about making right choices that affects how we live each day. What kind of choices do I make on a daily basis? How do I steward the God’s gifts to me including taking care of myself? How consistently do I live the Golden rule in loving others unconditionally? Jesus give me the grace to make good choices and to love others as you call us to love.
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.