The WORD in Other Words by Fr Louie Punzalan SVD (Philippines)
Tuesday 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Gn 13:2, 5-18, Mt 7:6, 12-14
The Jews considered dogs as unclean animals which they didn‘t keep as family pets. As a matter of fact, the term dog was a pejorative Jewish term referring to unclean Gentiles; swine or pigs were particularly considered unclean as well. Forbidding the giving of that which is holy to dogs and the throwing of pearls before swine, the gospel suggests that the kingdom of God is like a pearl of great price which is to be protected and valued at all times. This pearl of great price is the highest value over any other thing in the world.
The other point in the gospel is about the Golden Rule. Jesus reminds his listeners to always keep in mind the final judgment. We will be judged according to how we love or not love not only God but also our neighbor.
In underlining the importance of this point, Jesus uses another biblical imagery that points to the “two ways” — the way to death and the way to life, the way to heaven and the way to hell. He makes a contrast between the narrow gate and the difficult way against the wide gate and the easy way. This is similar to other biblical contrasts Jesus uses in some other passages: the good tree that bears good fruit and the bad tree that bears bad fruit, and the wise man who builds his house on rock in contrast to the foolish man who builds his house on sand.
In life there are always options to choose from.