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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. The Great Fishing Net Is an Image of the Church
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 26 July 2008 14:28

The net is an image of the Church, containing as it does both the just and sinners. Today’s Gospel contains a number of parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven—the hidden treasure, the pearl of great value found by an enterprising merchant, the great net thrown into the sea, which brings in all kinds of fish, some good and others bad (Matthew 13:44-52).

 

The fishermen throw the good fish into vessels. The bad fish are discarded. The net thrown into the sea is an image of the Church which holds both the just and sinners. The Lord teaches this same idea on other occasions. His Church contains saints as well as sinners, his friends and those others who abandon the house of the Father to waste the inheritance received in Baptism. Yet all belong to the Church, though in different ways.

 

Christ ‘holy, innocent and undefiled' (Heb 7:26) knew nothing of sin (2 Cor 5:21), but came only to expiate the sins of the people (cf Heb 2:17). The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal (Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium, 8). No matter what sins they commit, sinners continue to belong to the Church since spiritual goods still subsist in them - goods such as the indelible character received in Baptism and Confirmation, the theological virtues of faith and hope ... along with the charity that reaches them by reason of all the Christians struggling to be saints. Just as a sick or paralyzed part of the body receives assistance from the rest of the body, so it is with the Mystical Body of Christ.

 

The Church continues to live in her children who are not in the state of grace. It seeks to work against the evil that corrupts their souls. She struggles to keep them in her fold to bring them back to life with her love.

The Church continues to live in her children who are not in the state of grace. The Church seeks to work against the evil that corrupts their souls. She struggles to keep them in her fold to bring them back to life with her love. She conserves them as one conserves a treasure not easily parted from. And it is not because she wants to carry around dead weight. She only hopes that through the power of patience, gentleness and pardon the sinner will make his return to her. It is like the withered branch which for lack of sap is allowed time to regain health and flower once more (C. Journet, Theology of the Church. Bilbao).

 

The Church does not forget for one single day that she is a Mother. She continually prays for her children who are ill. She waits with infinite patience. She seeks to help them with abundant charity. We ought to bring to the Lord our prayers, works, joys and sufferings for the sake of those who belong to the Church but who do not participate fully in the life of grace. We should especially keep in mind those we happen to know personally who may need to return to the fullness of spiritual life.

 

With permission from Scepter UK.  Short excerpts from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez.  

Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.com  or by e-mail at info@totusbookstore.com

 
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Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2008 14:32
 

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