Homily for Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: PARABLES OF DIVINE JUDGMENT!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Thursday July 30 2020
*Jer 18 :1-6, Matt 13 : 47 – 53. Escatological parables are delicate because they make theologians peep into the mind of God about the 4 last things ; death, judgment, heaven or hell. But they do not lay fecund grounds for safe dogmatic postulations. Permit me to look at some of them like an amateur theologian;
1.The parable of the rich fool, for example, Lk 12 :13 – 21 makes you see how wealth ( or even over activism) could blind a man’s sense of charity and make him lose the kingdom of heaven.
2. The parable of the foolish virgins, Matt 25 :1-13, makes us see how unpreparedness and procrastination, as elements of human weakness could make us lose the kingdom of heaven.
3. The parable of the wicked tenants, Lk 20 :9 – 19, brings us face to face with the reality of wickedness among us and the fact that God must be compelled to send some people to hell who insist on being wicked in spite of God’s grace. 4. The parable of the culpable and inculpable servants, Lk 12 :35 – 48, makes us realize the fact that God’s judgment can never be the same for all classes of sinners since some sins are venial while others are mortal, 1Jn 5 :16 – 17.
5. The parable of the talents, Matt 25 :14 – 30, makes us see how God rewards people for making use of their different kinds and degrees of talents and punishes some for failure to make use of their own talents.
6. The parable of the wheat and the tare, Matt 13 :36 – 43 places us face to face with the works of God and the works of Satan and the fact of God’s patience but ultimate destruction of the works of Satan.
7. The parable of the dragnet, Matt 13 :47 – 53, our pericope of study today showcases the final harvest of God’s household (church) of different kinds of fish ; the good, the bad and the ugly. The good will go to heaven, Matt 25 :31 – 46 – the blessed of the father found faithful in charitable works. The bad will be condemned to hell fire , since nothing evil can enter the kingdom, Rev 21 :27. We are left with the ugly who did not make themselves ugly, who may have made sufficient efforts to be good but are found unworthy. The Bible says ‘they shall be saved but as through fire’, 1Cor 3 :15.
Through Jeremiah, in today’s 1st reading, God reveals himself not as a bulldozer (who would destroy everything bad automatically), but as a potter (who would destroy sometimes only to remould later). This is the greatest wonder of divine wisdom and justice. Catholics call it purgatory. Our separated brethren( some call them ‘Protestants’) disagree but they will all come to benefit from this escatological gratia of divine sorting of the good, the bad and the ugly.
May God bless you today!