The “Dogs” turned into
“Lamb” by Faith
There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
To the south of the city of Jerusalem the “potter’s field” is referred to even today. The land was bought with silver coins returned by Judas to the priests of the temple (Mt 27:3-10). It was the same place where the kings of Israel had made some horrible wickedness, leading to sacrificing their children to Baal. Towards the end of the seventh century B.C., the pious King Josiah had desecrated it (2 Kgs 23:10). Since then, to be buried there was considered the height of ignominy. With the money of betrayal, the high priests bought that field to convert it into a cemetery to bury strangers (Mt 27:7). For the impure and unclean Gentiles it could not but be a reserved cursed place (Jer 19:11) and also being dead they had to be kept separated from the sons of Abraham.
The impetus for the discrimination and the tendency to erect barriers between good and evil, pure and impure, saints and sinners are deeply rooted in the human heart. They re-emerge in the most varied forms: fear of confrontation, inability to manage an open, serene and respectful dialogue with those who have different opinions. Sometimes these impulses are camouflaged behind the complaint of real dangers, syncretism, irenicism, loss of identity, the renunciation of one’s values.
How can one who consider the other “distant” speak of ecumenism? Who can be so presumptuous as to consider himself “near”? All of us are “far away” from Christ and are walking towards the perfection of the Father who is in heaven (Mt 5:48). Only one who is aware of being “impure,” who cannot boast of merits before God, is in the right disposition to accept the salvation. “The publicans and the prostitutes are ahead of you on the way to the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus assured. Not having any merit of which to boast, they rely spontaneously on the Lord and arrived ahead of one who considers himself pure (Mt 21:31).
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“We are ashamed to have them as fellow travelers. Then the surprise: they had entered into the kingdom of God before us.”