Thursday of the 17th Week of the Year

Matt 13:47-53

The Parable of the Dragnet

If Jesus walked through the front door of my house today and started poking around in every nook and cranny, closet and cupboard, which of my possessions would he judge to be worthwhile, and which would he throw away? And if he came inside my heart, which of my thoughts, aspirations, and desires would he keep, and which would he hurl into the furnace?

Now it is up to us to bear witness to the truth of Christ. Therefore, we need to grow in our faith. It is not that hard. God wants us to be beacons of light, he wants to fill us with the light of his Gospel. All we need to do is, first of all, to pray for the gift of a more luminous faith. Secondly, we need to read the Bible with reverence, with respect, with an attentive ear as we listen to all that we are told about our Savior and Redeemer. Then, the knowledge of Christ that we gain through our faith in him, will lead us to “taste and see how good” he is. This knowledge and love that comes with it will be source of courage and strength we need to bear witness to Christ in our daily lives. We will be like St. Jerome, passionately in love with Christ, making him known to all.

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Do you still remember the 10th World Youth Day in Manila? Newspapers of that day bannered a news item that during the visit of Pope John Paul II the crime rate in the capital regiondropped to nearly zero! Most of the criminals must have been Catholics, for they seemed to have been touched by the presence of the Holy Father.

Have you not asked yourself at times: what is Christ doing about His Church, because we see so many bad people around us, even in Church? (Of course, we exclude ourselves and forget that others who ask Christ similar questions may count us among the not so good people). What is Christ doing about this situation? Can He not intervene and cleanse our communities so that the good ones could live in peace and dedicate themselves to a pious life?

In today’s parables Jesus answers these, our questions with a clear “no.” His Church is not an exclusive club for good people. His Church is open to all. As a dragnet neither selects nor discriminates, the Church must tolerate side by side the good and the bad, the pious and the lazy, the actively involved and the indifferent. Who knows when must tolerate side by side the good and the bad, the pious and the lazy, the actively involved and the indifferent. Who knows when and how people change through God’s grace. A terrible thought if God had thrown out young Augustine for his immoral lifestyle, or Ignatius of Loyola, when he was still a very worldly soldier; or me before I entered the seminary;  the seminary; or you….”

That patience of God with us, the ever new chances to change he gives, are beautiful and encouraging. But now comes the problem: God wants to show His patience, understanding and compassion through us, through our patience towards those brothers and sisters whom we would like to see better removed from the dragnet, from the Church.

Are you ready to leave your selection of the good fishes from the bad ones to God who knows better? (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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In his parables, Jesus makes use of the familiar world of human experience to draw a lesson about the Kingdom of God. Today’s parable is taken from the life of fishermen, like some of his disciples who earn their living from the Sea of Galilee.

After arriving from their fishing trip, the fishermen begin to separate their catch – those that are “kosher” and therefore permissible to eat, and those that are forbidden by law. The parable points to the “end of time” when God will reveal what is authentic and what is false in our life. For in our present world, good and evil often appear for what they are not. People call evil, good and good, evil. But in the end, the angels will separate the wicked from the righteous just as the fishermen separate the “kosher” from the unclean.

I see in this parable an invitation not to wait until the end of time to discern which of our actions please God and which do not. Like the fishermen who separate their as soon as they reach the shore, so too we can make it a practice to look at our life at the end of the day and see what is pleasing to God and what is not. Let’s not just look at our actions or thoughts to see if they conform to the externals of the law (norm, rules, commandments); rather we go to the root of our actions, that quality of our being that gives birth to our doing. What is at stake here is our love relationship with God – the ever deepening love affair with God as He takes the initiative to call us from moment to moment. (Sr. Clarette, SSpS Bible Diary 2006)

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Sometimes we think that we have been dealt unfairly by fate and that the gods have been sleeping during their watch over us. However, we soon realize that we are, in fact, living in a world where opposites co-exist – the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the big and the small. Sometimes we get good ones, like having good friends, good fortune or good job or good health and luck. At other times, we get the bad one – ill health, false company and bad breaks.

When Jesus announced the reign of God, He proclaimed that the Good News is for all, no exceptions. By “all” He means the whole creation, human and non-human alike, the totality of God’s creation. so even if drabness and monotony force their way into our lives, we could only, at best, fight it out with a positive attitude and a will to do good. Let us not fret over the better lot of others which could just be merely arising from jealousy. Let us not overfeed our ego, which could be indicative of a narcissistic tendency and a refusal to grow. Let us instead focus our attention on the innate beauty and goodness found in creation, and cultivate a passion for wonder and awe for the realities in and around us.

The following quote of Pablo Casals could best exemplify the state of being possessed by a positive spirit and outlook matched by the world’s beauty. “For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner….I go to the piano and play two preludes and fugues of Bach….It is a sort of benediction on the house….It is a rediscovery of the world of which I have the joy of being a part. It fills me with awareness of the wonder of life, with a feeling of the incredible marvel of being a human being…. This is Bach, like nature, a miracle.”

Indeed, we do ourselves good when we recognize the fact that differences do exist in the world and those diversities constitute the world’s beauty. Following a more religious line of thought, we cannot but quote St. Thomas Aquinas: “God cannot express Himself fully in one creature and so he has produced many and diverse life-forms, so that what one lacks in its expression of goodness maybe compensated for by others: for goodness in God is single and indifferentiated, in creatures is refracted into a myriad of hues of being.” Such imagery speaks well about what God’s Kingdom is like. (Fr. Joey Miras, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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July 28, 2016 Thursday

In Australia, I love watching TV fishing shows where anglers try and struggle to get that “Big One”. That mighty battle would take several minutes to a few hours. Once the fish finally gets hauled into the boat, there’s picture-taking, weighing the fish, and letting go of it back into the ocean!

The gospel today shows a different experience. It tells us that we should be the fish that want to be caught and collected. Fishermen during Christ’s time, and perhaps until now, examine the fish that they catch.  If big enough for the harvest and the market, the fish is put in the bucket; small fish or diseased ones could be destroyed or thrown back into the sea.

This parable is all about what would happen at the “end-times”. The kingdom of heaven will try to catch as much fish as it can. It will admit the good and throw the bad to the fiery furnace. Are we the good fish or the bad? All of us are given the chance and enormous opportunities to be good fish and hope we be admitted to the Kingdom.

What do we need to do to become the good fish? We just need to continue to strive to trust in God in everything we do especially during very trying times. We just need to treat others as Jesus would treat them, be good to our neighbors, forgive those who have hurt us, be generous to those who are in need, heal people through our needed presence in their lives. If we strive to do all this, with God’s grace, we will be admitted to his kingdom and enjoy his presence forever. (Fr. Elmer I. Ibarra, SVD Sydney, Australia Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/787-july-28-2016-thursday

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The parable in today’s gospel compares the kingdom of heaven to the work of fishermen who gather in the fish and then sort out the bad ones from the good ones.  “That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth.”

The children of Fatima, who were beatified by the Pope, received a vision of hell.  The Virgin Mary told them that they had to pray and offer sacrifices for the salvation of poor sinners.  This led them to become zealous in their prayers and sacrifices.  The task of the Church is the salvation of souls.  All those who work in the Church should never lose sight of this ultimate goal.  Like those children, they should be zealous in their work to save people from the punishments of hell. (CBCP Online, August, 2001)

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The net is Gospel teaching, the preaching of apostles, those “fishers of men.” The sea is the world. The fish of every kind are the human race. This parable shows that the net of Gospel preaching will gather all men – both righteous and sinners. When the net is full at the end of time, those fish, those humans will be divided. The good will be gathered into vessels of the Kingdom of Heaven, but the bad will be cast away. The Church of Christ on earth – the Church Militant – consists of the most varied people, of zealous Christians, who live according to God’s commandments, and as well of people careless or indifferent, Christians by name but not in way of life. We cannot discern their spiritual lives, but the dread, impartial judgment of God at the end of time will tell righteous from the sinners. In Lord Jesus Christ’s prophecy of the Dread Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) is certain:

“He shall separate the righteous and the sinners one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” – From Anyo

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FROM GOD, TO GOD (Matt 13:44-51): the two simple parables remind us of two very simple, familiar lessons. The first lesson is that everything comes from God. The second lesson is that everything must return to God. We know that. We are reminded of that when somebody is born. We are reminded of that when somebody dies. Everything comes from God. The only thing that does not come from God is sin. All the others are from Him. Even our trials turned into opportunities, our problems turned into victories, all these are from God. Everything must return to God. Everything must be used be used to glorify God and everything must be returned to God with faith, with love, with trust.

What unites the first reality that everything comes from God to the second reality that everything must return to God? How do things come from God? How are things supposed to return to God? One thing is very certain. We don’t throw it up to heaven and ask God to catch it. Blessings come to us from God through people and we return our blessings to God through people also. In other words, God comes to us through one another and we serve God through one another.

Everybody is a pearl and everything is grace. Everything is a treasure from God, to God, through us. (Socrates Villegas, Love Like Jesus, p. 143)

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GOD IS IN CONTROL (Jer. 18:6, Matt 13:47): It is clear in the metaphor of the potter from the book of Jeremiah that our life is not always within our control. It is like clay to the potter. Only the potter can decide what he wants to do with the clay. The clay cannot tell the potter what it wants to be.

It is the same in our lives. There are matters which are beyond our control and which we simply have to entrust to the mercy of God. There are matters which we cannot change.

Part of this reality is that Church is made of sinners and saints. We have no control over this because God willed it so. He willed that the Church be made of good and bad men and women. As the gospel says, “The Kingdom of God is like a net cast into the sea and everything is taken in by the net.” That is how the Church is. There will be dirty and clean people in the Church. There will be saints and public sinners, too.

The Lord accepts this reality. That is why we, too, who are just clay, have to accept the reality that our own Potter is tolerant of the presence of sinners and saints in the Church.

How do we confront the reality that the Church is not an exclusive club of saints? Are you willing to sit beside a public sinner at Mass? Are you willing to fall in line with a public sinner who wants to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist? Are you willing to give understanding and a compassionate heart to a sinner who wants to change? Or can you be so self-righteous just the same? Do you want to control the situation and say, “If they do not leave, I leave. If they do not know the gravity of their sins, I will make them realize it.” We cannot afford to be like that. That would place us above God.

There are things in life that are beyond our control, like the reality of sinners in the Church. God understands them and is compassionate to them.  God supports them in their struggle to be holy again. If God does, we should not do otherwise. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 240-241)

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v. 52: “Every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” Whoever is imbued by God’s presence carries with him the values of the past and applies them in the present. Like a balanced life (Fr. Ching OP).

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THURSDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – MATEO 13:47-53. Unsa man ang kagustohan sa Dios – kaluwasan ba o kaparotan sa Iyang katawhan? Ang Sambingay sa Baling maghatag kanato og hulagway sa usa ka Dios nga gustong sikopon ang tanang tawo para sa Iyang gingharian. Ang klase sa baling nga gihisgotan dinhi mao ang pukot nga modakop sa tanang matang isda, gagmay ug dagko, ordinaryo ug talagsaon. Sa samang paagi, ang Ginoong Dios nagsugo sa Iyang mga tinun-an, nga mao karon ang mga tigpamaling, sa pag-agni sa tanang katawhan, maayo ug daotan, sulod sa Iyang simbahan. Kabubut-on sa Dios nga ang tanang tawo mahatagan og kahigayonan nga magbag-o ug maglakaw sa saktong dalan. Sa adlaw sa paghukom, ang mga matarong maiya sa Ginoo, samtang ang magpabiling daotan itambog ngadto sa impyerno. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/07/thursday-of-17th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

THURSDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MATEO 13:47-53. UNSA MAY MAHITABO INIG-ABOT SA KATAPUSAN SA KALIBOTAN? Si Hesus miingon: “Moanhi ang mga anghel ug lainon nila ang mga dautang tawo gikan sa mga maayo, ug itambog sila ngadto sa hudno nga nagdilaab.” Lisod nato kining paminawon tungod kay mahadlok kita maghunahuna sa impyerno. Apan, dili nato mahimong baliwalaon ang mensahe sa Ebanghelyo: sama nga adunay langit nga nagpaabot sa mga matarong, aduna usay impyerno nga giandam sa mga daotan. Gusto sa Dios nga kitang tanan maluwas, apan kinahanglan nato nga mosunod sa iyang Anak nga si Hesus diha sa pagbuhat og maayo. Ang Sulat ni San Pedro nagkanayon: “God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example and you must follow in his steps” (1 Pet 2:21). Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/07/thursday-of-17th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Thursday July 31, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest; Matthew 13:47-53 – Reflection: When a net is thrown into the sea it catches every fish that it could. It doesn’t discriminate it gets everything that is within its reach. Our church is like a net thrown into a sea of humanity.

It doesn’t categorize, everyone is welcome; good or bad, black or white, sinner and non-sinner everyone is welcome to enter our church. For this is what Jesus wants us to do; invite everyone to enter and eventually join our church.

But don’t we somehow discriminate and judge others for the simple reason that we don’t like them or we don’t like what they do? The moment we judge them it’s like saying that God only wants the righteous to be in HIS church. It’s like saying that the net which is thrown into the sea is a discriminating net, but it’s not. For the net is for every fish that it could catch.

This is perhaps an eye opener for all of us; we who are often times judgmental. Let us leave judgment to the Good Lord while we continue to live our faith and in the process we become fishers of men and women without any discrimination. Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/07/reflection-for-thursday-july-31-saint.html

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LET GO, LET GOD: “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” – Jeremiah 18:6

A few minutes before the heart operation, I had the chance to prepare the needs of the patient. I could sense his anxiety and fear over what may happen. He had just survived a heart attack and he was hanging on for dear life. Then the head surgeon held the hand of the patient, smiled at him and said, “We’ve got you. You are in safe hands.”

The patient smiled and let go in peace. The operation started with a prayer, went smoothly, and the patient eventually made a full recovery.

I never forgot my lesson that day: that there is peace in letting go.

We are always in God’s safe hands. He has designed us to be perfectly at peace in Him. May we let go and let God do His mighty works through us today. Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

Reflection: What areas in your life do you need to surrender to God?

Dear Lord, today I let go and I let You have Your way in me.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-31

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1ST READING: St. Ignatius of Loyola was a bit of a playboy and ladies’ man before he went off to war and got wounded. In recovering from his wounds he had a conversion experience, and once out of the hospital he set about establishing a new congregation in the Church that would devote itself to teaching and evangelization. The Society of Jesus, as it is now known, is the largest male congregation in the Church. Jeremiah 18:1-6

GOSPEL: It is important to learn from the wisdom of the ages while at the same time embracing the innovations of the day. This is what Jesus means when He talks about bringing out both the old and the new. The future of the Church depends on how the present generation recognizes the essential truths of the Gospel and formulates them in such a way that they can be passed on to future generations. This process has been going on for 2,000 years and will continue to do so for millennia to come. Matthew 13:47-53

think:  It is important to learn from the wisdom of the ages while at the same time embracing the innovations of the day.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-31

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LIKE ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA: Today’s saint led a very colorful life, showing the wonders of God’s grace stubbornly at work in one’s soul. And his openness to and reception to God’s grace, in spite of some resistance to it, was, in the end, for the greater glory of God — as the motto of the Society of Jesus puts it, “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” (For the greater glory of God). As the founder of this great religious congregation, St. Ignatius of Loyola mustered deep awareness, humble availability, and great courage in what he did. Also, this former military adventurer (he loved to use militaristic terms in the congregation he founded) “waged war” against his own sinful tendencies and against the enemies of the Church through his indefatigable zeal. This male religious congregation specializes in reaching out to those in far-off mission lands, refugees, the poor and downtrodden, and even the elite of society.

In some sense, St. Ignatius is like the wise scribe in today’s Gospel. He headed the household efficiently, making use of both the new and the old from his life’s treasure trove. But before that, he was like the lump of clay in the book of the prophet Jeremiah in today’s First Reading. In the skillful hands of the Master Potter (God Himself), this clay could be molded as He pleased. Should it turn out badly, it could be easily molded again into something else.

If only we could be just like St. Ignatius of Loyola! He himself was inspired by the saints’ biographies, which he read while convalescing in the hospital due to the cannon-shot leg wound he incurred during a battle. As he put it, “These men were of the same frame as I; why then should I not do what they have done?” God made His will clear enough to Ignatius.

What’s keeping us from also seeking God’s will? May we be as discerning, docile to, and doers of God’s will in our lives. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How does the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola inspire you in your spiritual journey?

Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of St. Ignatius’ life. May I learn to be as discerning and docile like he was when he encountered You in his life.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-31

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ASSORTED FISH – Being an archipelago, many of the readers in the Philippines are familiar with the work of fishermen. Also for the audience of Jesus, the parable of the fishermen pulling in their nets and selecting the good fish (ritually clean) from the bad ones (ritually unclean) was very vivid.

The two most common ways of fishing in Jesus’ time were, first, with a casting-net which was thrown from the shore, and second, the drag-net which was let down into the waters from a boat. As the boat moved through the waters, the drag-net was drawn and indiscriminately took in all kinds of fish. It usually took several men to haul such a net to shore. What is Jesus’ point here? Just as a drag-net catches every kind of fish in the sea, so the church acts as God’s instrument for gathering in all who will come.

This parable comes at the conclusion of a long discourse in which Jesus uses a series of images very familiar to His audience — a sower, wheat and weeds, mustard seed, yeast, pearls, fish. Jesus uses all these images, introducing them with “the Kingdom of God is like” to get the crowd and the disciples to understand their role in God’s plan for the world. He used the parable of the net pulled to illustrate the Last Judgment, which was also familiar to His first listeners.

Until that moment — and nobody knows when it will come — the Church lowers the “nets” into the ocean of human societies and tries to bring in as many as possible into God’s Kingdom. The nets of the Church also bring in “good and bad fish.” We find in the Church saints and sinners side by side. Just as the drag-net does not or cannot discriminate, so the Church does not discriminate between the good and the bad, the useless and the useful. God’s Kingdom is open to all who will accept and believe. But there will come a time of separation — when the angels will send the good and the bad to their respective destinations. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Looking at your response to God’s love, will you probably be collected together with the “good fish”?

Lord, You gave me free will to choose my destiny. May Your love always inflame me to do Your will so that, in the end, I will be “collected” together with the good fish. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-07-28

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WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2015

17th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 30-07-15

Exodus 40:16-321, 34-36 / Matthew 13:47-53

It is very easy to use today’s readings to preach a fire-and-brimstone homily about judgement and punishment, repent or burn etc.

But strange that Jesus would use the image of a dragnet.

A dragnet catches everything that is in its way.

The dragnet is such that it does not discriminate.

And that is what the church is like, or should be like.

We find all sorts of people in church – the saintly and the not-so, the straight and the crooked, the talkers and the doers, the quiet and the loud, just to name a few.

And at times, we might wonder why there are those kinds of people in church.

Maybe that’s why we say that the church is a mystery.

As we heard in the first reading, the Israelites experienced mystery. In the form of the tabernacle, the Israelites came into contact with the mystery of God.

Similarly, in the Church, we encounter the mystery of God in the people present in the Church.

It is because when we believe in the mystery of the presence of God in the Church, we can then believe that God will cleanse the Church, cleanse each of us, so that we as the Church can be the distinct sign of salvation.

Then, we , the Church, can go forth and cleanse the world.

Posted by Rev Fr Stephen Yim

frstephenyim-weekdays.blogspot.com/2015/07/17th-week-ordinary-time-thursday-30-07.html

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[MUST READ] The Last Wishes of Alexander The Great

On his death bed, Alexander summoned his army generals and told them his three ultimate wishes:

#1. The best doctors should carry his coffin…

#2. The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery…

#3. His hands should be let loose, so they hang outside the coffin for all to see!!

One of his generals who was surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain.

Here is what Alexander the Great had to say:

#1. “I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal ..”

#2. “I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, will stay on earth…”

#3. I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we come to this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is: TIME.

We do not take to our grave any material wealth. TIME is our most precious treasure because it is LIMITED. We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more TIME.

When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never take back.

Don’t forget to share this story with your family and friends. From Elite Readers

facebook.com/elitereaderscom/photos/a.211978468959615.1073741828.211921458965316/509016129255846/?type=1&fref=nf

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Powerful Net

July 30, 2015 (readings)

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13: 47-53

Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. “Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your power. I know that you are the Lord of all history. I trust that you are guiding my life. Thank you for showing me that you will triumph. Thank you for the triumph you have already achieved in my heart and in the hearts of so many people. I want to allow you to have total control over my life.

Petition: Lord, help me to have confidence in the triumph of your Kingdom.

  1. Nothing Escapes the Kingdom:Christ is reminding us that all souls and all human history are encompassed in the vision of the Father. Both the good and the bad will be brought before him. He is able to see what good and evil has been done. His power extends over all the failures and successes of human history. I should live with a confidence that God sees the good I do and will make my efforts to spread his love bear eternal fruit.
  2. Evil Does Not Have the Last Word:I should live with the confidence that evil does not have the last word. The mercy of God has imposed a limit on evil and the Lord will come one day to take away the power of evil. I should use my short time on earth – which I should use today – to sow all the good I can, aware that this is what will stand steady at the coming of the eternal kingdom. I should not be so impressed by evil that it paralyzes me from doing good.
  3. Already Home:The Eucharist is an anticipation of God’s triumph. There we learn to trust that God holds the strings of human history. There his “net of love” brings his children together to feed and strengthen them. When I participate in the Mass my confidence in the Lord’s providence should grow. I should strive to bring others to the Eucharist as well, so they can experience the peace and happiness of anticipating heaven here on earth.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know you are all powerful. I believe that your Kingdom will triumph. I believe that you will come to judge the living and the dead. Help me to do all I can to bring others into your Kingdom so they can experience the joy that comes from knowing you and from living ready for the coming of your Kingdom.

Resolution: I will invite someone who is struggling in their faith or who has fallen away from the sacraments to join me this Sunday at Mass.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.

epriest.com/reflections/view/465

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July 28, 2016

REFLECTION: A lot of Christians, when they hear a parable like the one we have in today’s gospel reading, figure that, on Jesus’ own reckoning, a certain number of people will end up in Hell at the end of time. But this conclusion does not necessarily follow, because it is based on a wrong interpretation of Jesus’ words, a wrong understanding of the particular literary genre or type of discourse that Jesus is using here.

For here, in the opinion of many theologians and exegetes, we are not dealing with a prophecy, a sort of anticipated scenario of what will happen one day. We are dealing with what is technically called a threat discourse. This is a type of conditional prediction, nothing more. It consists in saying something like this: if a person persists on the path of evil without ever reversing his or her decision, then that person will have chosen damnation. Has this ever happened? Nowhere does the Bible declare that X or Y is in Hell. Never has the Church (who canonizes people and therefore declares them to be presently in Heaven) ever declared that some persons are presently in Hell—not Judas! Consequently, we may still reasonably hope that all humans will be saved.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3598-july-28-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Thursday of the 17th Week of the Year

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