This morning’s meditation from Word Among Us is another beauty!
Here are a couple highlights from it:
Consider the fish in Jesus’ parable. They are of many different types, but they all have one thing in common: They will all be caught in the fishermen’s net, and then sorted through to be branded good or bad. That sounds a lot like the way God works, doesn’t it? He calls us, his fishermen, to fill his nets by bringing into the kingdom everyone we can—no questions asked, no judgments rendered. Then, at the final judgment, he will sort through them himself and decide who is worthy of his kingdom.
If we want to have the right attitude for evangelization, we need to take on Jesus’ perspective. He loved everyone he spoke to, and his one desire was for them to come to his Father through repentance and faith. He was interested in their sin only because it kept them from God. He didn’t come into the world to condemn people; he came to save them (John 3:17). Likewise, our evangelization should be focused on the promise of salvation, not on the sins people commit. While we should never downplay God’s judgment, the most fruitful seeds we can plant are those of his mercy.
We often see threads at this site disparaging people for any number of shortcomings they may have, and often lamenting the “need” for a “smaller, purer Church”. They usually take the tack of being “fraternal correction”, but often actually contain a great tone of apparent superiority, *a la *the Pharisee thanking God for not making him like “other men”.
As noted here though, we are called–as we are likewise in the parable about the man sending out for all of those along the byways to come to the wedding feast–to bring all of the “fish” to Jesus and let him do the sorting.
A later line in the meditation comments that “It is important to remember that looking inside a person’s soul is not a job for amateurs!” And the gospel reading itself says “Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous…” Since none of us are those angels being sent out, and none of us are anything beyond “amateurs” when it comes to judging souls, it would seem to me that it would behoove us to not take any chances that we might sort out a wounded soul that just needed a little work from the Divine Healer, but which is then removed from that possibility by our own harsh words or attitude.
Please, Lord, help us in our weakness to remember that ALL of us are infinitely dependent on your mercy, and that those most wounded are especially dependent on our efforts to help them find healing rather than condemnation.