Gospel Reading: 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.
Reflections: Fish of every kind
Jesus draws this parable of the Kingdom from the experience of his first disciples who are mostly fishermen. Upon reaching shore, the fishermen sit down to sort out their catch. What is good they put into buckets ready to be sold. “Good” here refers to those that are ritually clean according to kosher laws, hence, can be eaten. Fish with fins and scales is kosher (cf Lv 11:9). Such is “St. Peter’s fish” (tilapia) that abounds in Lake Tiberias. Whatever lacks either fins or scales is non-kosher or tarefa, “bad” or “unclean.” Non-kosher fish are put in separate containers and are sold to the Gentile population of Galilee. The parable speaks of being thrown away because it refers to the fate of the “unclean” on the day of judgment.
Like the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds and that of the Last Judgment, this parable teaches that while the good and the bad live together in this life, at the end, with the Lord as just judge, there will be separation: the good will go to their reward while the bad will be thrown outside where there will be wailing.
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Lord, let us be an inclusive community, not an exclusive one through separation.
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS,” 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.