8/3/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reading: 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.
8/3/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 13:47-53
Jesus has come to show us the kind of Father He has. The Old Testament seems to give us a sense of an angry God but Jesus has introduced to us a tender-loving God who can welcome even the most unworthy criminal. Yet the gospel above is telling us to keep the old as well as the new. In the Old Testament, God was angry at people who are disobedient to His Commandments. In the New Testament, Jesus emphasized God’s love and forgiveness. However, there is the judgment day where individuals will be called to account for one’s behavior while living on earth. In other words, while there is love and forgiveness in the Kingdom, there is also divine justice.
The gospel reading above is inviting everyone, both the good and the bad, to become part of the Kingdom of God that Jesus has established. It means everyone is being given equal chances to repent. After all, everyone falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). May we all respond positively to the invitation.
Just as the fishing net catches both the good and the bad fish, we are surrounded by both the good and the not-so-good people. Yet the parable is clear. There is the judgment day when those who respond positively to the invitation to repent and believe in Jesus will join Him forever in His Kingdom. This is our hope. This is our faith. Though we are bombarded with evil day and night, we do believe that if we abide in Jesus, we will receive the promise of eternal life (John 3:16).