Daily Reflection – 8/1/19
Jesus said to his 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. (Matthew 13: 47-53)
Today’s Gospel is not an inspiring first read, is it? But it should be inspiring in the way that it was intended. It was intended to put a certain “holy fear” in us as well as reassure us of God’s justice.
Sometimes we need a little holy fear of God and His justice in our lives. In our day and age sin is becoming continually more accepted and “normal.” Our worldwide culture seems to be growing steadily more secular. Immoral living of many types appears to be on the rise. As a result, it is easy for us to start seeing sin as part of the “new normal” and even acceptable. In fact, when we name sin as sin, our world often calls us judgmental and hateful.
If you find yourself at times feeling pressured to give in to the immorality all around you and just “accept it,” then perhaps the passage above will inspire you to do just the opposite. The absolute truth is that Jesus has named some things as sin and committing those sins brings grave consequences.
It could be the very subtle cultural practice of turning the Lord’s Day (Sunday) into anything but a day of rest. Or it could be grave violations to the principles and words of Jesus Christ. Each of us will certainly notice various ways in which we feel our faith is challenged and even attacked. If that’s you, then this Scripture is for you. Jesus is serious about sin and the consequences of sin. That should inspire us to not only live holier lives, but to speak out against those Christian violations that seek to subvert His word. Each of us must do all we can to assist those caught up in the disordered cultural tendencies to change their lives.
As followers of Christ who hope to be in his kingdom, we then ought to go through the rummage of our lives, look into our past and acknowledge where we may have failed our Lord. We need to look into our hearts with God on hand so that we rid ourselves of all that made us fall into sin, so that we may have the wisdom to see through our old selves and pursue what is new and will be good for us.
Reflect, today, on how strongly you are opposed to sin. Sin is evil and destructive. We must always love the person who commits sin, but we ought never offer support or approval for their actions that are contrary to the law of God. Standing strong in the face of cultural opposition is a great act of love and may free some, one day, from the “wailing and grinding of teeth” of which Jesus spoke.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, increase my hunger for your kingdom and fill my heart with eager longing for you that I may one day gaze upon your face in everlasting bliss.
We are called to remove the bad from our lives, just as God will remove the wicked at the judgment in the end times. We need to remove the debris in our lives in order to make space for God in all that we do. Perhaps that is easier said than done, but it’s something we need to work on each day.