By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 30, 2015
July 30, 2015

Gospel 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.

Reflection:

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.”

Of course I understand the analogy, but fish are creatures whose behavior s are governed by instinct. They don’t have to struggle to decide if they’re going to be “good” fish or “bad” fish.

Humans, on the other hand, are confronted many times each day with making good or bad decisions. For example, do I scream insults at that idiot who just cut me off? Do I give money to that healthy looking young man holding a beggar’s bucket at the traffic light? Do I try to cut the line at the drug store because I have important things to do and these old people in line have no where else to be?

Are my decisions on such matters really an influencing factor on whether I will go to Heaven or end up wailing and grinding my teeth in the Fiery Furnace?

I’ve heard it said that a person cannot earn their way to heaven through good works. Yet, it would seem that bad actions may prevent you from going to heaven? That scale doesn’t seem to be balanced.

I can only hope that God looks at me the same way I look at my own children. I don’t love them only because of their goodness; I love them in spite of their failings.The truth is, I love them because I have no choice.

As a parent, I don’t have the ability to stop loving my children. My love for my them is not like a light switch; I can not shut it off and on at will. Once it’s on, it’s on forever. And that’s what is meant by “being made in the image of God.”

Love of God and a desire to please Him, not fear of Hell, is what will reunite me with my Father at the end of the age.

“High in some silent sky
Love sings a silver song
Making the earth whirl softly
Love makes the world go ’round.” Ollie Jones



A suggestion: Ask yourselves this question.
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