The Word of God

The Pain Of Not Being Appreciated


Reflection on Mass Reading for June 21, 2022

“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.” Have you ever had the experience of working so very hard to celebrate someone’s birthday or another milestone and sacrificing quite a bit, only to have your gift and expression of care be totally unappreciated or even acknowledged? Most likely, we have all had a similar thing happen to us. This would help us understand that this passage from the Gospel is generally interpreted to be a warning by Jesus to his disciples, including all of us, that we should not offer biblical doctrine to those unable to value and appreciate it. This is similar to another warning about giving sacred things to dogs. In these very telling examples, Jesus uses dogs and pigs as representatives of those who would ridicule, reject, and blaspheme the message of the Gospel and, by extension, the messengers/evangelizers of the Good News. We are not to expose the elements of our faith in Jesus Christ to those with no purpose other than trampling it and returning to their evil ways.

“How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” You and I are responsible for the process it takes to live our lives integrally and share what we believe, but we are not responsible for people’s responses. Just as animals could never appreciate pearls or the finer things in life, some cannot or will not appreciate what God has done for them. Jesus’ instruction to His apostles on how to handle rejection was simply to move on to those still waiting to hear the greatest story ever told.

“Staying in a situation where you are unappreciated is not called loyalty; it is called breaking your own heart.” Trent Shelton

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