12 Jan 2020. Baptism of the Lord. Cycle A-2020. Is 42:1-4, 6-7 + Acts 10:34-38 + Mt 3:13-17

Pleasing Dog and Pleading Cat

And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved son, with you I am well pleased (Mt 3:17).

A couple, together with their kids, visited a pet shop to get the best pet. They could not seem to agree whether to get a dog or a cat. Noting the roundabout discussion among the family members, a fellow shopper butted in, eager to resolve the impasse.

“A dog finds joy in pleasing its master,” the stranger told the family. “It welcomes its master coming home by barking excitedly, wagging its tail, and standing up on its hind legs to lick its master’s face. A beloved dog is one that is most teachable. And the dog that obeys the most pleases the most.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “a cat finds joy in being pleased by its master. It does not dash forward to welcome its master coming home, but it remains where it is. Meowing softly, it pleads for its master’s attention, until the master bends over to lift it up, to cuddle it, and to hug it. Cats are not known to be obedient, and are hardly teachable.

“If the master stops feeding the dog,” he went on, “the dog may go out to find food for itself. At the end of the day, however, it would come back to its master. On the other hand, if the master stops feeding the cat, the cat may go out to find food for itself, but may decide to stay with a new master that feeds it.”

I heard the Lord ask me, “Which attitude of the pets matches your relationship with Me, the Master of heaven and earth? Are you like the dog with whom I am well pleased because you please Me? Or, are you like the cat whom I please because my act pleases Me?”

To please the Master is to be pleased by the Master. A loving child is a lovable child. VSS

Picture: Dog kisses woman (pexels-photo-1174081) as cat (pexels-photo-460797 collaged) looks on.