The Hopeless Way of the Wicked

August 3, 2017 – Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (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.

 

Reflect: The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. The stream of parables in the Gospel according to Matthew comes to a conclusion with Jesus reinforcing the point that within this world good will mix with evil, but, in the end, evil will be destroyed and good will prevail. That’s a promise that we need to reflect upon as we struggle to remain faithful, yet witness the seeming advancement of evil around us. Since the Garden of Eden, God has respected the free will of man and woman. Today, despite the Incarnation and despite the victory that Jesus won for us through his death and resurrection, we still see countless choices against God and in favor of evil.  Through it all, Jesus reminds us over and over again that the Kingdom of God will prevail despite a world so often sacked by evil. Ultimately, the victory belongs to our God and the righteous who remain faithful to his word and his ways. Jesus showed us that despite confronting evil face-to-face he was not destroyed; but, rather, he destroyed and put an end to sin and death. The Evil One can tell us all kinds of lies, but he can never overturn what Jesus has already accomplished. God so loved the world that he sent us his only Son…

Questions: Do I resist evil and choose to do good no matter what it costs me? Do I trust that Jesus will guide me through the challenges of life that put me face to face with evil? Do I believe that even if I have seriously sinned but have a contrite heart, Jesus wants to forgive me and extend his mercy in abundance over me and my life?

Pray: Loving God, you are the victorious King. Nothing or no one can prevail over you. Give me strength and fortitude to be faithful and loyal to you. Help me to be your disciple and make you known by how I live my life and the choices I make.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all his benefits.

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