Seems you can’t go more than a couple days of studying the Gospels in a Year before you run into yet another odd phrase buried in Scripture somewhere. This time around it comes from Matthew 7:6 which informs us “Do not give dogs what is holy.” Really? What’s so bad about dogs? Well, you know, besides the fact that they’re destructive, promiscuous, and all around self-centered. At least that’s what this little Christmas story would have us believe…
Huh, apparently dogs have a conscience and fear the fires of hell, at least according to this cartoon. I guess if that was true in real life it actually would be okay to toss them something holy. Alas, that’s not the way things are though.
According to Msgr. Charles Pope, when Jesus said not to give what is holy to dogs, he was referring to “a Jewish saying that was rooted in tradition. Some of the meat that had been sacrificed to God in the Temple could be eaten by humans, especially the Levites. But in no way was it ever to be thrown to dogs or other animals to eat. If it was not eaten by humans it was to be burned. Hence holy and sanctified meat was not to be thrown to dogs because it was holy… So what is being said? Sacred matters, sacred things, wisdom and participation in sacred things should not be easily offered to those who are incapable of appreciating them.”
And who are these folks incapable of appreciating holiness? According to the monsignor, “There are those who despise what we call holy. There is little that can be done in such cases except deny them the pleasure of tearing apart holy things or trampling them underfoot. Jesus is saying that some people are like dogs who tear apart sacred things and have no concept of their holiness… They simply trample under foot anything that does not please them or make sense to them in the same way that pigs would trample pearls underfoot or dogs irreverently tear apart blessed food dedicated to God.”
Okay, so he doesn’t give out names, bit I’m sure we can all think of a few comedians and political personalities who fit the bill. Not sure it’s politically correct to call such people dogs these days, but hey, if the collar fits…
Thanks for the explanation. Those are always appreciated and this one especially so: I keep wondering where the line is between being bold and being foolhardy in proclaiming God's kingdom coming (easy when people often mistake you for a holy fool).
Blessed Christmas to you and your family, sir! You have been a great stimulator of growth and joy this year. I hope you have the grace of someone who does that for you in abundance as well.
"I hope you have the grace of someone who does that for you in abundance as well."
That's what all of you are for :) Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.
Post a Comment