DAILY GOSPEL COMMENTARY:
PARABLE OF THE FISHING NET (Mt 13:47–53).
GOSPEL OF THURSDAY, 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (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.
GOSPEL COMMENTARY (from the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. Matthew (with permission).
47 “Fish of every kind”: almost all the Greek manuscripts and early translations say “All kinds of things”.
- A dragnet is very long and about two metres wide; when it is extended between two boats it forms double or triple mesh with the result that when it is pulled in it collects all sorts of things in addition to fish — algae, weeds, rubbish etc.
- This parable is rather like the parable of the cockle, but in a fishing context: the net is the Church, the sea the world.
- We can easily find in this parable the dogmatic truth of the Judgment: at the end of time God will judge men and separate the good from the bad.
- It is interesting to note our Lord’s repeated references to the last things, especially Judgment and hell: he emphasizes these truths because of man’s great tendency to forget them:
- “All these things are said to make sure that no one can make the excuse that he does not know about them: this excuse would be valid only if eternal punishment were spoken about in ambiguous terms” (St Gregory the Great, In Evangelia homiliae, 11).
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S 1st READING (Jer 18:1–6)
This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message. I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the Lord. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.
TOPIC: Do we allow The Potter of our life to mold us?
How many of us felt defeated and crushed after repeated failures?
How many of us experienced low self-esteem because we went through some embarrassing and humiliating episodes in the hands of people we thought would be our lifeline?
Let’s watch this video of one of the best football players of all time, Jerry Kramer, an eventual hall of famer, coached by another hall of famer and, arguably, the best coach and motivator of all time in the National Football League of America, Vince Lombardi.
[VIDEO – #1 Jerry Kramer | NFL Films | Top 10 Players Not in the Hall of Fame ]
During a practice session for the Green Bay Packers, things were not going well for Vince Lombardi’s team. Lombardi singled out one big guard for his failure to “put out.” It was a hot, muggy day when the coach called his guard aside and leveled his awesome vocal guns on him, as only Lombardi could. “Son, you are a lousy football player. You’re not blocking, you’re not tackling, you’re not putting out. As a matter of fact, it’s all over for you today, go take a shower.” The big guard dropped his head and walked into the dressing room. Forty- five minutes later, when Lombardi walked in, he saw the big guard sitting in front of his locker still wearing his uniform. His head was bowed and he was sobbing quietly.
Vince Lombardi, ever the changeable but always the compassionate warrior, did something of an about face that was also typical of him. He walked over to his football player and put his arms around his shoulder. “Son,” he said, “I told you the truth. You are a lousy football player. You’re not blocking, you’re not tackling, you’re not putting out. However, in all fairness to you, I should have finished the story. Inside of you, son, there is a great football player, and I’m going to stick by your side until the great football player inside of you has a chance to come out and assert himself.”
With these words, Jerry Kramer straightened up and felt a great deal better. As a matter of fact, he felt so much better he went on to become one of the all-time greats in football and was recently voted the all-time guard in the first 50 years of professional football.
How many of you retreated to the dungeon of depression because of rejection, betrayal, mistreatment or persecution?
Well, if you have, you are in good company. Jeremiah, the prophet, is one. No one would listen to him. He was mistreated and persecuted – thrown into prison and beaten, given the death sentence, shamed by a king, called a liar, and left to die in a muddy cistern.
We, too, may be suffering right now, sometimes for the sake of Christ. But we should rejoice because we share in Jesus’ sufferings. We are part of His special circle. And being in communion with Him, our sufferings will be temporary.
In today’s reading, Jeremiah is told to go to a potter’s house. He observes that every time the potter came up with a pot not up to his standards, he would repeat the process again until he got his desired shape. In Hebrew, the word for potter is “Maker” referring to God in this case.
There is a saying, “man proposes and God disposes.” We can make our own plans but because we have no control over all things, our plans may not happen exactly the way we want them to or they may not happen at all.
But this does not mean that we should just let things happen. That is a fatalistic view of life. We cannot just say, “I am so unlucky” or, “it is God’s plan.”
Of course it is not God’s plan. God is a good God and He does not desire evil for us. He only wills what is good. But He allows us to experience pain, suffering and evil for good reasons or purposes – oftentimes not clear to us now.
What we must do is to actively seek what God wants for us and from us. We must desire to be in synch with God’s will for us – to want what He wants, to do what He wants. That is why there is a thing called PRAYER.
We must ask Him. We must listen to Him. We must ask His Holy Spirit to help us understand His will for us.
God is a potter who desires to produce the best products. But He requires our cooperation. We must allow Him to mold us to be the best we can be under His guiding hands.
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