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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

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.
Responsorial Psalm: 145
R/. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
Praise the Lord, o my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.

Put not your trust in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation. When his spirit departs he returns to his earth; on that day his plans perish.

Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord, his God. Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them.
Versicle before the Gospel ((Cf. Acts 16,14)): Alleluia. Open our heart, o Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 13,47-53): Jesus said to his disciples, «Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a big fishing net let down into the sea, in which every kind of fish has been caught. When the net is full, it is dragged ashore. Then they sit down and gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away. That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth». Jesus asked, «Have you understood all these things?». «Yes», they answered. So He said to them, «You will see that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple of the Kingdom is like a householder who can produce from his store things both new and old». When Jesus had finished these parables, He left the place.

«They gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away»

Fr. Ferran JARABO i Carbonell (Agullana, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel is a vital call to conversion. Jesus does not spare us the hard reality: «The angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace» (Mt 13:49-50). The warning is quite clear. We just cannot take it easy and go to asleep!

Now, it is our turn to freely choose: we either seek God and make goodness a part of our life, or we prefer to stand on the precipice of death. Or with Christ or against him. To convert ourselves means, in this case, to freely opt to become one of the upright ones and live a life worthy of his sons. However, within us we have the experience of sin: we realize the good we should do but we do the evil, instead; what do we do to provide our lives with a sense of true unity? We, alone, cannot do much. Only if we place ourselves in God's hands shall we be able to attain the goodness and be counted amongst the upright ones.

«Because we know not when our Judge shall appear, so we should live every day as if it were our last» (St. Jerome). These words are a call to live with intensity and responsibility our Christianity. It is not a matter of being afraid, but of living in the hope this is a time of grace, praise and glory.

Christ shows us the only way to our own glorification. Christ is the only way to heaven; therefore, our salvation, our happiness and whatever we can imagine happens through Him. And if we have everything in Christ, we can hardly refrain from loving the Church, that shows him to us and is its mystic body. Against purely human visions of this reality we have to recuperate the divine-spiritual vision: nothing bigger than Christ and the fulfillment of his will!