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Thursday, July 28, 2016

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Jeremiah 18:1-6
Psalm 146:1-6
Matthew 13:47-53

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your net worth

"The reign of God is also like a dragnet thrown into the lake, which collected all sorts of things." —Matthew 13:47

What is your favorite parable? Many people especially like the first of the kingdom-parables, the parable of the sower and the seed, which is better named the parable of the types of ground. The parables of the mustard seed and the precious pearl are always favorites. Yet how many claim that the parable of the dragnet is their favorite? Nonetheless, the parable of the dragnet is the grand finale of the kingdom-parables in Matthew's Gospel. It is the last word. Thus, the kingdom-parables end on this ominous note: "That is how it will be at the end of the world. Angels will go out and separate the wicked from the just and hurl the wicked into the fiery furnace, where they will wail and grind their teeth" (Mt 13:49-50).

This is not a happy ending, but it is the ending the Lord wants. The Lord calls us to conversion, to accept Him as Savior, Lord, and God on His terms. We must say and live: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:19-20). Only those who "live no longer for themselves, but for" Jesus will be saved (2 Cor 5:15). All others will be hurled "into the fiery furnace, where they will wail" (Mt 13:50) in "eternal ruin apart from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thes 1:9).

The dragnet has been thrown into the lake. It is being pulled toward you. It is getting closer. Cry out for Jesus, for "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rm 10:13).

Prayer:  Father, may I end in love and not in hell.

Promise:  "Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand." —Jer 18:6

Praise:  Sarah had a difficult husband but she was at peace when she realized that when she served him, she served Jesus.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 20, 2016

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