In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches us how to live especially in our daily interaction with one another. So, in today’s gospel, we can find the three most essential guides to living a well-meaning life.
This will help us to create a loving relationship with anyone and interact peacefully with people and also achieve eternal life at the end. Today, we have to go straight to the points. They are:
1.Avoid Those Whose Intent is to destroy You.
In the gospel, Jesus says to His hearers “Do not give to dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls to pigs, they may trample them and then turn on you and fight and tear you to pieces. The Greek word that is used here for holy is το αγιον, meaning the sacred thing.
Pig and dogs are metaphorically used to mean those who do not value what you give. And those whose intention is to devalue, maim and destroy you.
Therefore Jesus is asking His disciples not to give whatever that is sacred or consecrated to God to those who have no desire or hunger to know and appreciate God and whatever that is Godly.
In them, there is no hunger for God and they do not want to. Their interest is only to find ways to pull you down. Here, Jesus is saying that any effort you are making for these kinds of people is a waste of effort.
So, Dogs and pigs as used here are those whose intent is to trample upon all their efforts to preach the Good News and to make things work well.
Hence, Jesus teaches that the number one way on how to live and avoid trouble is to avoid those whose intent is to devalue whatever good thing that you do.
No matter the type of effort you make to make things work right, they do not appreciate the value, instead, they are only out to fight you. Doing this alone will keep us from trouble and unnecessary jealousy.
2. Do Unto Others What You Would Want them to Do to You.
This rule is popularly known as the golden rule. The Golden rule applies in every aspect of life, be it political, religious, ethical, economic and interpersonal relationships.
This is one of the stand out rules on how to live well, peacefully and cordially with anyone and in everything that we do.
This rule can create peace anywhere and in any home. Everything that we do is supposed to be guided by this rule.
The rule simply means that if you know that thing that you want people to do to you, do it unto others. If you want someone to love you, love him, if you want peace in a family, be the person to bring peace etc.
It is normal and easy for us to always expect that people treat us with respect, honour and love. We always want people to help us. No one would like people or anyone to treat him/her in an undeserving manner.
We would not be happy to see others treat us poorly, then the question we can ask ourselves is “can we also treat others the same way?
No person would like to be treated badly, but the same people who don’t want this will treat others badly. In Tobit 4:15, Tobit tells His son Tobias “Never do to anyone anything that you would not want someone to do to you”.
If we apply this rule in every part of our living existence, there will surely be peace, growth, progress, unity, and love.
The rule is not saying that we are to treat others, the way they treat us. Some people may treat you badly and you may want revenge.
The rule means we are to do unto others and we are to treat others, that way, we would want them to treat us. No one does not want to be loved, honoured and respected. Therefore, to do this is to promote true love and selfless sacrifice which is the real practice of Christianity.
So, if you need peace, love, mercy, forgiveness, respect, attention etc, be the first to give it. What you give is also what you get.
Everything that we do in life has its consequences. There is what we call the law of cause and effect. And this effect is always according to the cause. So, whatever goes around, comes around. Whatever you sow in life, you must reap. And however you sow it, is how it will become. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”.
Therefore, If you want peace, always promote peace, if you want evil, promote evil. You can not promote evil, hatred and division in your family and expect peace and progress.
You cannot be praying for a better thing to come into your country when you are promoting kidnapping, banditry, etc and increasing the price of goods. We make our beds the way we want to lie on them. This is one of the best rules on how to live.
So, what Jesus is teaching us here is that we shall give love, goodness, be a man of peace etc. let the change start from you. Imagine a country, a home and places where everyone keeps this rule.
Our problem is that we go about promoting the negative and expect the positive. How can one be promoting evil and expect good?
Sometimes many people go about destroying the future of people who depend on them for survival and we come back to expect blessings.
Many times, we go about full of hatred, jealousy and wickedness, yet we want peace and progress. Proverbs 22:8 says whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. So “Let us not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9).
How to live is that If you know that thing that you will like people to do to you, be the first to do it to them. We can find this rule in psychology, philosophy, ethics, theology, the bible, politics.
It is preached by many religious founders like Confucius, Buddha etc and cuts across many religious and cultural settings. This is to tell you the beauty of Christianity.
3. Never Be Afraid to Thread on the Difficult Path.
Today, Jesus also says ‘Enter through the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and very spacious, and many ply on it; but it is a narrow gate and the hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Jesus compares two ways of life. One is easy but one is difficult. Many people thread on the broad road while fewer people tread on the narrow road.
Therefore, the first road which is the wide road is the road that leads to destruction. This road leads to regrets and failures. This road also leads to hellfire.
The road that leads to destruction is easy, full of pleasures, enjoyment, no suffering. It can be seen as the road of no time for God but time for the world, a road of immorality, a road of exam malpractices, a road of cheating, marital infidelity, the road of laziness, without working but drinking and sleeping.
This is the road that Adam and Eve took, and brought problems to humanity; a road of pleasure. Despite how enjoyable and pleasurable this road seems, this road ends up into destruction, failure and eternal damnation.
The other road is the narrow gate. It is pent up, narrow, and difficult to enter. Only a few people try to walk on this road. This is the road that leads to eternal salvation, the road that leads to heaven.
This road is the road of holiness, a road of total obedience to whatever God says. This is the road that says no to evil and ugly trends. It is not the road of following the crowd.
This road is difficult to ply, it is full of quiet times and serious work. This is a road of a determined heart who is willing to go through the worst to achieve the best.
It is not a road of trying to please everybody or to be like the world, but a road to please God only. It is a road to try to do what others fear to do.
This is the road of self-sacrifice, a road of hard work, a road of breaking newer levels and fields that others fear to enter. This is the road to do what others fear to do.
Despite how difficult it may look, it leads to life at last. This is the road Jesus, the apostles and the saints chose to walk on. It is difficult but leads to salvation, open doors and eternal life.
But today, we want an easy life, nobody wants to sacrifice and work hard. Because of this, we remain where we are. Success is built on a stone of determination and hard work, it is not a field of the weak.
Therefore one of the ways on how to live is to follow the difficult path, doing what others fear to do. At last, there must be a reward. Through these, we can grasp how to live a true and meaningful life.
May God bless you dearest and give you the grace to live in peace. May He continue to guide and fill you with abundant graces. Amen.