July 31, 2014

The Gospel Today

Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

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 (Sem. Eric Terrel):

A quote from a book says, “My life is not made by the dreams I dream, but by the choices I make”. In our life, we all have great dreams. However, the quality of choices that we make all throughout our life determines the success or failure of attaining our dreams. We all aspire for heaven to be with God and to be in state of perfect joy and peace. Heaven is for the saints. We can admit the fact that we have made many choices in our life. Some are saintly and some are sinful. We live in a world that is composed of saints and sinners.

In the Gospel narrative, Jesus Christ speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven and He likens it to a net that is thrown deep into the sea and collects fish of all kinds. Afterwards, there is a sorting process that would be done to separate the good fish and the bad fish. Prior to the fishing, the fisherman is supposed to have put some feeds on the water. Some fish may have eaten it. While some have ignored it and let the feeds to just settle on the seabed. As I reflect on this narrative, I would say that God continues to shower His presence and graces here in our world through His life giving Word, His Body and Blood in the Eucharistic Celebration, His graces in the other sacraments, His teaching through the doctrines of the Church, His example in the lives of the saintly people and His subtle working in our lives. However, it depends on us whether we are going to capitalize on the graces that He gives to us. He will not force us to accept Him and His graces since He respects our freedom. Nevertheless, He will evaluate us in the end based on the way we used our freedom whether we have lived in praise, in reverence and in service of Him as St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches us. Those who have chosen, accepted and loved God will be chosen to live with God forever. While those who have rejected God and love other things will be deemed unfit for God’s Kingdom. This reminds us to look into ourselves and see what we really want in our life. Are we committed to aspire and strive for the Camp of Christ or are we settling for the worldly Camp which is often influenced by Satan?

As we continue living, let us ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of the Blessed Mother and St. Ignatius of Loyola that we would make the radical choice for God who is so patient with us. He aspires for our love and presence more than we could ever know and feel.

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