"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..."
This complete reading could scare the pants right off anyone, but the reassuring part of it is: At least human beings aren't making the Big Decision of who is good and who isn't! Verse 49 tells us that "the angels" will separate the wicked from the righteous. Assuming that the angels will take their cue from God, the decisions will be Divine, not based on what humans deem good or bad. God will look into a person's heart--the same heart God created--and see the person as they really are. With the love of a parent for a child, Creator for the one created, God will decide. And what a relief that is! Love, heidi
"As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord."
After an "encounter" with the Lord while at the Hermitage or any other kind of retreat, I wonder if I actually look different? I sure feel different! One cannot help but be changed after encountering God. It may show up on our faces, but, more importantly, it needs to be reflected in our actions. Consider Martha, whose feast day is today. Martha gave powerful testimony when Jesus came to Bethany after Lazarus's death. "Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God..." (John 11:27) Can you imagine how radiant her face was as she spoke? And that was before Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb! Encounters with God aren't just old bible stories we read and ponder, Friends! Each and every one of us can encounter God powerfully in the midst of our everyday lives. Sometimes, it's while we are quietly spending time with God alone, other times it's while we are showing hospitality to Jesus by serving others. And each time, we radiate God's love from the inside out. Love, heidi
"Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, 'There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?'”
Yesterday, reflecting on this reading, I re-read the chapter in "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" by James Martin SJ (chapter 15--Tabgha--if you want to give it a go). It refreshed the wonderful gift of the multiplication of the loaves and fish we heard proclaimed from the Gospel of St. John. Jesus is always so willing to multiply our meager efforts for the greater good. We may feel inadequate, ill-equipped, and just not able to give what is needed in any situation, but our efforts, combined with God's grace can make a difference in the world. Like the little boy in this Gospel, we just need to offer our loaves and fish to Jesus and Jesus will multiple them to meet the need. Lord, I feel very inadequate as I set out this Monday morning. I struggle so with Mondays (as you know!), I'm a bit tired after not-enough sleep and my technology inadequacies challenge me every day. But I offer you my meager loaves and fish for you to multiply and meet the needs of all I meet today--my clients, strangers and friends I will encounter. I feel like I come with a rather empty basket of goods, but, in your hands, it can be more than enough. Thank you, Jesus! Love, heidi