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The good news for the day June 21

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time (372)

Jesus says to his followers: Don’t give something you value deeply to dogs—and don’t feed pigs with pearls; they will mix them with their muck underfoot, then turn and attack you for doing that…. Everything you folks want people to do for you—do that same thing for them. That’s the point of all law-guidance, all prophet-speaking…. Get inside at the gateway you need to squeeze through, because the wide open one—the easy one—goes nowhere, and so many easily influenced use it. Tight is the gateway, and narrow the roadway which you travel to Life, and relatively few find it.” (Matthew 7)

In this final section of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is more directly addressing you—people who claim to be Christians, who claim to be following Jesus. He is talking to preachers who might be talking to pigs, to people persecuted for their faith, and to people who might think following Jesus is easy.

You and I are those people. You have offered helpful advice, obvious truth, valuable direction—even hope—to people –pigs—who laughed and ridiculed your views, your precious ideas. You have offered kindness to someone as you hoped for it in return—but it came not back. You yourself have sometimes taken the “easy way,” and it got you nowhere-you had to repair the friendship, fix the mistake, undo it and start over.

These are some of the truths you learn in adulthood—the frustrations and mistakes you encounter and deal with.

The Good New is that you have a Way—a “way to life”—to handle setbacks and slip-ups. Stay focused—Jesus reminds you—stay focused on the way of the Father, the creator—on what you believe, on what is right—and not the easy path, the prejudices and your culture. The Christian way is the way of the Cross, and not—ever—the way of wealth, security, superiority and fads. Know yourself and stay true. That is the Way.

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