August 1, 2013

The Gospel Today

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguouri, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Mt. 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 (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):

            The parable in today’s Gospel describes the truth of the Judgment, which means God, at the end of time, will judge all people keeping the good and throwing away the bad. Jesus used the dragnet to symbolize how people of every kind will be judged. A dragnet, when it is extended between two boats forms a mesh, which collects not just fish but other kinds of things as well; shells, weeds and even trashes from the sea. The fisherman will only keep the fishes and throw away all the excess.

            While trying to understand the message of judgment in our Gospel today, an idea popped up into my mind; what if the Judgment comes today, right this very moment. How will I be certain that I am included among the good fish and not one of the weeds to be thrown back into the sea? With all the sins that I’ve committed and with all the mistakes and omissions I’ve done, I don’t think I will be selected as one of the good fishes. This invites me to reflect on my current relationship with Jesus. There is a need to reconcile with Him, to ask for forgiveness and to do penance for the remission of my offenses.

            Let us make the sacrament of reconciliation a regular habit so that we will be ready anytime when the judgment comes. It is a good motivation to look forward for the judgment day so that we are always grounded and aware of our spiritual status. A challenge for all of us to always examine our consciences, deeds and actions. Let this Gospel reading reminds us is always that there will be one day where everything on earth will end and all of us will be judged according to how we lived. Have we become a good fish or just a weed from sea?

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