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THURSDAY OF THE SEVENTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, JULY 30, 2020



A Gospel according to Matthew 13:47-53


Jesus said to the 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.


REFLECTION: "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."


Well, Jesus is not mincing any words in the last of the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven that we've been reading about for the last two weeks.


The net will be cast, and brought ashore. There the angels will help God separate the good from the wicked.


Who are the wicked?


According to the Cambridge dictionary wicked means "morally wrong and bad".


Funny to read something like this in these days of laissez-faire morality. Where everything goes. Where my will is my god.


The wicked are those who choose to listen and follow our enemy.


And who is our enemy?


In our handbook we read that they are "those who seek to do harm and destroy us on purpose: 1) the devil; 2) the world; 3) the flesh."


It is hard to recognize our own faults. This is especially true in this society where we are told we can do whatever we want; where nobody has the right to "judge" us.


Yet, God is patiently giving us chance after chance to do right and change our ways. He even tells us: "A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." Jn 10:10.


So I stand where the road diverges. Do I choose God's ways? Will it be His will for me which ultimately gives eternal life? Or will I choose my own way which leads to a dead end?


This is an ongoing personal battle that goes on every second of every day. To win this battle, and every single one, God has not left us alone to fend for ourselves. He has sent us the Holy Spirit, our Advocate.


Pray with me St. Augustine's prayer to the Holy Spirit so we can all discern and follow God's will and ways always. And never divert from His path. And if we do, then have the humility to supplicate His mercy through a good confession with a saintly priest.

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