23. Jul, 2017

The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Like A Net

In Praise of Humility

Today’s Gospel (17th Sunday, A) concludes three weeks of readings from the 13th Chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. Throughout these three weeks we have heard Jesus teaching crowds about the kingdom of heaven.

Briefly, in the first week we heard that our heart should be open to accept God’s Word i.e., be rich soil that is penetrated and nurtured by our faith in Jesus Christ. Last week we heard that we can grow up to be wheat or a weed! And because our lives are interwoven in this life, God allows that good and bad people live side-by-side. God allows this because each person must be free to make up their own mind by the choices they make. The question was: Am I bad like weeds, or am I like good like wheat?

Good people live virtuous lives in imitation of Christ. They are humble, self-effacing, and full of love 😊Vice comes from the father of lies who entices us to devilish pride, hatred, and self-seeking ☹ They don’t want to be told what to do!

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus offers three more short parables. The first two parables describe the great value of the kingdom of heaven. In the first parable, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a buried treasure that is worth possessing even if it means giving up everything else. In the second parable, Jesus proposes that the kingdom of heaven is like a pearl of great worth for which one will sell everything else to possess. These parables teach us that we are to place everything we value in the service of the pursuit of the Kingdom of God.

The third parable that Jesus proposes in today’s Gospel is different from the first two, but it is reminiscent of the parable of the sower heard in last week’s Gospel. The kingdom of heaven is compared to fishing with a wide net. After the fish have been collected, the good fish are kept and the bad fish are thrown away; so too, in the final judgment, will the wicked and the righteous be separated.

Many of us are struck with fear when we consider the end of life, and the life thereafter. As Christians, we face these moments with courage and hope. Just as Jesus died and rose again through the power of the Spirit, we too, filled with that same Spirit, will rise with him from the dead. Therefore, we entrust ourselves to Divine Mercy.

God’s steadfast love is such that it overlooks injustices and pardons transgressions when we are humble and contrite of heart. Humility recognises our need of God, and of God’s forgiveness. It is what makes our heart fertile soil in which the Word of God can grows. The last parable takes us back to the first.

Let us underscore humility, as humility recognises our need of God’s Mercy!

Be it done unto me according to your Word” (Mother Mary, 9 months B.C.).

Homily modified from http://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/17th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-a-sunday-connection?p=1