Simon Peter and the first disciples of Jesus catch fish in the freshwater Sea of Galilee. Their nets collect fish of every kind, but once in the shore they and their helpers sort out the catch to separate the kosher or ritually clean fish from the unclean (inedible, therefore not saleable). However, as “fishers of men” for the Kingdom, Jesus tells them that they cannot be selective in proclaiming the Good News. They ought to embrace all kinds of people without prior discrimination and let God take care of the ultimate sorting out at the end of time.
How do we picture the Church? Is it a community of holy and privileged believers or an emergency room that welcomes those spiritually or morally wounded? Pope Francis says, “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven, and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium, 114).
Gospel • 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.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.