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Truth is Holy
Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious
Matthew 7:6, 12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”
Opening Prayer: Father, I am weak and fall often, but you never leave me. You love me and desire trust in your forgiveness and mercy. Help me see myself and others through your loving eyes. Father, in this time of prayer, help me see those times I judge and condemn others while excusing my own faults. Because I know you love me, Lord, I trust you to show me how I can better live what you call me to through the life of your Son Jesus. In faith, I embrace his example of trust in you and love for all humanity. Grant me the grace to live in humility, charity, and patience with those in whom I see faults.
- Valuing What Is Holy: A little later in this Gospel, St. Matthew presented the parable of the merchant searching for fine pearls and said, “When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” This parable was coupled with the parable of the person finding a buried treasure and selling all he has to buy the field in which it is buried. Both individuals recognized the value of what they found and were willing to give everything to obtain it (cf. Matthew 13:44-46). The treasure and the pearl are images for the Kingdom of Heaven, and these parables challenge us to ask ourselves if we have that same desire to seek God and his Kingdom above all things. The images presented in today’s Gospel draw attention to the same issue by warning us not to abuse the treasure that comes through the teachings of the Church and in the sacraments.
- The Treasure of the Eucharist: The Eucharist, the greatest treasure of the Church, is a concrete example of “what is holy.” The Eucharist is reserved for Catholics in a state of grace, for those who are in full communion with the Church in belief and practice and who are free from mortal sin (CCC 1385). We are called to approach the Blessed Sacrament reverently with awareness that Jesus is truly present and giving himself to us. The sacrament of Reconciliation is an excellent preparation for worthy reception of the Eucharist.
- The Road That Leads to Life: By our nature, we don’t tend to take the narrow path. As we mature in our faith, we acknowledge that some behaviors must change. Before we even start to change behaviors, we can be beset with thoughts of how hard it will be, how we will suffer the deprivation of the good things in life. Satan can distract us from the truth. But Jesus encourages us to be generous with him! He tells us, “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), and “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you” (Luke 6:38). When we are generous with God, no matter how difficult the path seems, we will find abundant life and the true happiness for which we are created.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, the world wants me to believe that you are a spoilsport or killjoy, and that happiness means license. Lord, I want true happiness, not passing pleasure. I want deep joy, not momentary gratification. Grant me the courage to follow you no matter what the cost, trusting that you only desire good for me and that you want to bless me. Jesus you said, “Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish?” (John 7:9-10). Help me embrace all you teach through the Church and all that your providence allows in my life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray the Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius and ask for the grace for it to form my heart:
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.
For Further Reflection: What Is Real Truth? in which Fr. Mike Schmitz discusses whether truth is different for different people or if there is a reality of objective truth.
Janet McLaughlin and her husband, Chris, live on a mountain in rural northeastern Oregon. She puts her Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies to work as she shares the beauty and importance of the lay vocation in her writing, speaking, and teaching on spiritual topics.