Saturday, July 23, 2011

7/28/2011 – Homily - Thursday of the 17th week of ordinary time – Matthew 13:47-53

        In our Gospel readings for both the weekday and Sunday liturgies, these past few weeks have been filled with vivid parables and images from the Gospel of Matthew, comparing the kingdom of God to many different things.  Today, we hear about the kingdom of God being compared to a fisherman who hauls in this huge net full of all kinds of sea creatures.  There are many wonderful treasures found in this catch, but there are also sea creatures that are not very useful to us humans, so the fisherman just throws them away.  We are told that the kingdom of God is like this, that at the end times, our Lord will recognize the righteous and they will enter his kingdom, yet the wicked will enter the fiery furnace where there will be gnashing of teeth.  That fiery furnace doesn’t sound like a very pleasant place.
         When I heard this story about hauling a net from the sea, I thought about a story that recently was all over the internet, of how a team of marine biologists was working in its boat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa when a white shark of more than 9 feet long and more than 1,100 pounds jumped into the boat.  The research team could not get this gigantic shark out of the boat while at sea, so the boat had to carefully make its way to port, where a crane had to lift the shark out of the boat and put it back into the ocean.  Sometimes we don’t know what treasure is going to come out of the sea and right into our laps, do we?
         Our lives can be like that as well. We can think about the unexpected often happens to us in our lives, how we have to deal with a crisis or an unusual problem.  We, too, are called to remove the bad from our lives, just as God will remove the wicked at the judgment in the end times.  We need to remove the debris in our lives in order to make space for God in all that we do.  Perhaps that is easier said than done, but it’s something we need to work on each day.  

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