DAILY MASS READINGS (August 2, 2018)

THURSDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

 

Reading 1 (JEREMIAH 18:1-6)

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Rise up, be off to the potter’s house;
there I will give you my message.
I went down to the potter’s house and there he was,
working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel,
as this potter has done? says the LORD.
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter,
so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 146:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB)

R. (5a) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Put not your trust in princes,
in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.
When his spirit departs he returns to his earth;
on that day his plans perish.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God.
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (SEE ACTS 16:14B)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our heart, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (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.

Reflection: In the First Reading (Jeremiah 18:1-6), God describes Israel to be made under his hand, which is like a potter’s clay. We all know in the story of creation how he made male and female from the dust of the earth and breathe on them. Now when he called his people to a covenant after the exodus, he molded them like clay through the wheel. Whenever it turned bad, he would try again. This imagery depicts the Lord’s love and faithfulness for Israel despite the nation’s infidelity and wickedness. God continues to make the good things come out of those that first appeared to be horrible. It is a New Covenant he forms for the renewal of the human race, that the glory revealed to Israel may be now revealed as the salvation plan for the Gentiles as well. And all this took fulfillment in the Father’s Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by his Passion, Death, and Resurrection that brought forgiveness of sins and the grace to become God’s adopted children. In the Gospel (Matthew 13:47-53), Jesus ends his discourse of the Parables of the Kingdom narrated in the whole 13th. Chapter of Saint Matthew’s Gospel. He compares God’s Kingdom to fishermen casting a net into the sea, and when they collect the fish, they keep the good ones and throw away the bad ones. This scene refers to the Last Judgement, when Christ will come again in glory and send his angels to separate the sheep (faithful) on the right and the goats on the left (evil). The faithful will receive eternal life in Heaven, while the evil will receive eternal damnation in Hell. But there is another symbol mentioned in the parable: the boat. It symbolizes the Church, who is the ark of salvation because she carries with her the message of mercy and compassion through the ministry of the leaders and lay faithful, including us. No wonder her doors are still open to those who wish to find refuge and strength in the Lord. And she also teaches the concluding statement of Christ’s discourse on parables, that we need to grasp and understand the teachings of the Lord. This is done through evangelization and lifestyle in thoughts, words, and actions. And in the end, we will receive the reward in the Kingdom of God, which is eternal life. So as we journey down this road, may we also take part in the missionary work of the Lord entrusted to the Church of which we are part of by practicing acts of charity, mercy, and compassion.

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