Gospel - July 31, 2014

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
MT 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reflection - July 31, 2014

How does this parable make you feel? Is this a scary image or a comforting one? What does it feel like to consider being caught by God and separated out like fish in a net?

I think we can think of this parable in two ways: through a lens of fear or a lens of desire. Considered in the first way, we fear the judgment of a God who might catch us and throw us out with the other bad fish. This view of God encourages us to avoid God’s net altogether and to seek the satisfaction of our deepest needs elsewhere, outside of our relationship with God (as if this were possible!).

If, on the other hand, we believe that God alone fulfills the deepest desires of our hearts—to be loved as we are—we might instead welcome this net. We might even reimagine this net, not as something that constrains or binds us, but rather as three persons—Father, Son, and Spirit—who hold us tenderly, in their loving embrace.

This was the insight of Ignatius of Loyola, who, like so many other saints, knew that the deepest desires of our hearts are fulfilled only in loving intimacy with God. The challenge for today, and for our whole lives, is to make choices that lead us closer to God—that honor God’s special place in our lives as our creator and savior.

Gregory Celio, S.J., ’04, ‘06M.Ed.

Prayer - July 31, 2014

Loving God, you know us and have called us. May we always seek the path of justice, the way of peace, so others may know of your goodness and kindness. Grant us your forgiveness when we sin; show us your mercy when we fail. May we always seek your kingdom until at last we come to rest in your eternal home. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Father Bob Loughery, C.S.C.

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