“Yes” to Evangelization

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Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

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.
 
Opening Prayer: Lord, you ask in the Scripture, “Do you understand these things?” Help me in these moments of intimacy with you to understand what your message means to me here and now, in this blessed day you have given me.
 
Encountering Christ:

  1. Caught in a Net: When Jesus casts the net into the sea at the end of time, we will all be “caught”—those of us who lived to love and those who loved to live for themselves. But we won’t necessarily be able to distinguish one from the other, nor should we try. Even now, it is Our Lord’s job to condemn the wicked, not ours. Instead, we are called to love and serve them. “Love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back… Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).
  2. New and Old: Jesus called every scribe (i.e., every Christian) the head of a household. We are to share our love of Christ, which is the fruit of our prayer and sacramental life, with others in an effort to expand the Kingdom of Christ. We rely on our Catholic formation (the old) and our ongoing experience of Christ (the new) to nurture and care for others as the head of a household tends to the needs of his family. 
  3. Do You Understand?: There can be no doubt as to the responsibility that comes with our “yes” to Jesus. To the disciples’ “yes,” Jesus gave them the responsibility to extend his Kingdom as heads of households. By our “yes,” we must acknowledge that Jesus, likewise, calls us to reach out to the souls he has entrusted to us. We pray for them, we serve them, and we evangelize them, according to the will of the Lord.

Conversing with Christs: Jesus, it’s obvious by your parable that the stakes are high for our souls and the souls of those we love. I have said “yes” to you over and over in my prayer and by my actions, but I have also failed you. Please give me the grace of final perseverance and the ability to be a loving influence on the souls entrusted to me.
 
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will prayerfully call to mind the souls you have entrusted to me up to now, and offer a rosary (or another specific prayer) for them. 
 
For Further Reflection: This little book can help to stay focused while saying the rosary. 
 
Written by Maribeth Harper.

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