The Shape of Things to Come
The Shape of Things to Come
“’The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.’” — MT 13: 47
What can a story of a dragnet and a great catch of fish tell us about God and His Kingdom? The two most common ways of fishing during the time of Jesus was with a casting-net (or hand-net) which was thrown from the shore and the drag-net or trawl which was let down or cast into the waters from a boat. As the boat moved through the waters the dragnet was drawn into the shape of a great cone which indiscriminately took in all kinds of fish and flotsam and jetsam, which is nothing more than useless or discarded objects, swept in its path.
What is Jesus' point here? Just as a drag-net catches every kind of fish in the sea, so the Church acts as God's instrument for gathering in all who will come. Just as the dragnet does not or cannot discriminate, so the Church does not discriminate between the good and the bad, the useless and the useful. God's Kingdom is open to all who will accept and believe. But there will come a time of separation, at the end of the age when the Lord Jesus returns again and sends out His Angels who will separate the good and the bad and then send them to their respective destinations. Our duty in this present age, as a disciple of Jesus, is to gather in all who want to become citizens of God's Kingdom here on earth as well as in Heaven above. We may say we agree with this in our heads and hearts, but our hands may show different works. What are we to do?
Our First Reading today gives us some insight. The Lord, at the potter’s wheel (Jer 18:3), is trying over and over again to mold us into His disciples. Whenever we rebel, He patiently picks out our hardened parts, discards what is useless in our life, as if it were flotsam and jetsam in the nets, and gently tries again. With infinite patience and skillful care, He continues to work at forming us according to His pleasure (Jer 18:4). God the Potter won’t stop working on us. He doesn’t get frustrated; rather, He’ll keep trying again and again. For our part, we need to stop going around in circles with the Lord. Let us not be afraid to surrender every part of our life to God. Let Him lovingly caress each of us with His gentle hands and make a masterpiece of each of our lives.
Jesus, when He comes again at the end of this age, will give to those who believed in Him and His way of truth and righteousness a glorified resurrected body and a home in His Everlasting Kingdom. But for those who refused to follow the Lord and His merciful word of truth and righteousness, their destiny will be total separation and loss of the joy and happiness with God and His Community of redeemed men and women. The Lord Jesus freely offers the treasure of abundant life and everlasting joy to all who believe in Him and accept Him as their Lord and Savior; not just with words, but by actions. It is up to us to freely yearn for total peace, joy, and union with God in His Everlasting Kingdom at the end of the age.
"Lord Jesus, may your word take deep root in my heart and transform my way of thinking, discerning, and acting. May your Spirit open my ears to hear and understand the word of God in the Scriptures that I may revere and treasure both the Old and the New Testaments which God has prepared for all who desire to enter his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Help me to be a diligent student and faithful disciple of your word."
May God’s Grace and Blessings Always be with You and Yours!! Our Lady of Guadalupe – Pray for us!!
Yours in Christ,
St. Clare of Assisi
Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Thursday, July 30 at 6:29AM