Matthew 13:47-53 Reflection: Judgment Day

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
47 “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
48 When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.
49 Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
51 “Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.”
52 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.”
53 When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

Gospel Reflection

The gospel reading above is a reminder to us about the coming judgment day. Nobody knows when that day will arrive but it will surely come whether we are prepared or not. On that day, each one of us will face our creator to await His judgment. Nobody will escape or will be excused except perhaps those whose freedom to choose was compromised by disability, mental or otherwise.

On that day, God’s justice will prevail. In this life, many of us go about as if nobody is watching. Many of us commit sin here and there as if there is no accountability. Still many of us think that crime does not pay and that is why many criminals, even after their earthly punishment, return to normal life and never learns. On the day of judgment, nothing will be hidden. If the wicked go scot-free while living on earth, they will not go unpunished. Sooner or later, they will face the consequences of the criminal acts.

Jesus is reminding us through the parable above that while there is time, let us seek and practice righteousness. It may be difficult to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” due to negative responses of some people but let us all remember that the liberty we have while on earth is limited and temporary whereas the peace and joy that we will enjoy in the Kingdom of God is eternal. Indeed, investing in the Kingdom is priceless and it’s forthcoming is worth the wait.

After telling the parable, Jesus used the occasion to tell the scribes that they need to learn new truths and not just memorize the truth in the Old Testament. He wanted them to be like the household head who value both old and new treasures. In John 14:6, He claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life. The scribes need to listen to Him.

Many times, we are like the scribes and Pharisees who hold tightly to some old beliefs and traditions so much that we have already closed our mind to new insights and new divine revelations. Our lesson is to have an open mind and accepting heart to the outpouring of wisdom through the Holy Spirit.

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