Faith Daily | 28 July 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p565
O God, the protector of all that trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal
that we finally lose not the things eternal.
Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 47-53
47 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ 52And 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.’ 53When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Sandra
And as I meditated upon the Gospel today, I felt that today was a good day for us to ask ourselves “Am I/are we, one of the righteous ones? Or are we one of the wicked ones?” My assumption would be that most human beings are a bit of both, and we may move from one end of the spectrum to the other, depending on what is happening in our lives. The Scriptures tell us that according to Jesus, the litmus test of being a person in good standing with God is the condition of our heart and the measure is how much compassion and love we offer to others and most especially to those in need.
So, it seems to me that it is precisely when we become aware that we are in a bad space – an unloving space – we should consciously choose to move out of that space and move back toward our righteous space – our loving space. People are forever drawing lines to distinguish in-groups from out-group members. And Jesus says that the basis of the final decree will catch many by surprise.
The standard of judgment is not ethnic, linguistic, national, geographical or even religious. What counts at the final reckoning is the expression of the heart’s condition. It is not enough to be children of Abraham (3:9) or to know Jesus and admire and confess him (7:21) or to do miracles in his name (7.22). It is not sufficient to bear the name of citizens of the kingdom (v.38).
All the many judgment scenes provided for us in the Gospels reveal God’s own hunger and thirst for good fruit, for human deeds of righteousness – of mercy and love. So if today we should find ourselves in a space that is not good, may we all strive to move into a loving and peaceful stance which suspends judgment and allows God to work through us, in Jesus’ name.
FINAL PRAYER from Prayers of the Early Church UTC Publications, Sydney
Lord, who can grasp all the wealth of just one of your words?
What we understand in the Bible is much less
than what we leave behind,
like thirsty people who drink from a fountain.
For your word has many shades of meaning,
Just as those who study it may have different
points of view.
You have coloured your words with many hues
So that each person who studies it can see in it what they love.
You have hidden many treasures in your word
so that each of us is enriched as we meditate on it. Amen. Ephrem the Syrian c.306-373