“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Of all the references that have gotten stale with time, the Gospel of Matthew’s admonition against giving “what is holy to dogs” might be the most out of date. At that time, dogs weren’t kept as pets, but instead were seen as a defilement in the Temple. These days, dogs seem to appear in all places, from airplanes to offices and even churches! In the two thousand years since Jesus’ worldly ministry, dogs have turned from mangy mongrels into one of the purest ways people express love. In some profound ways, dogs, with their patient love, abundant forgiveness, and unbridled joy, model for us what life with God is like.
How might you live today with the radiant joy of a well-loved pet?
—Jake Braithwaite, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Northeast Province studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
God who loves us, help us to embrace the love you have for us and reflect that back into the world to those we encounter. May we have the patience we need to deal with difficult people and situations, and the willingness to forgive others as we ask you to forgive us. Help us to radiate joy into our world. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!