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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

“Jesus said to the disciples: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.’” (MATTHEW 13:47)

The Parable of the Net, found in Matthew, conveys a message about the final judgment and preparing us for the kingdom. As compared to the net and fish of every kind, God wants us and our Church to gather people of every kind and accept them just as they are, without exclusion. It is saying that Kingdom building is on us, as we all can be scribes. I ask myself, am I growing in the knowledge of Christ and how am I nourishing people? Scribes held a traditional wealth of knowledge from the Old Testament, and much of this was brought forward in the New Testament. This is similar to our Avera mission as it speaks of being conservative yet progressive while using examples or words such as keys of excellence and care standards. The attitudes of a scribe included being hospitable and valued, gentle and humble.

When I think of this parable, my own father or scribe comes to mind. He too was a fisherman and showed all three of his girls how to catch fish. Not only did he teach us how to actually bait a hook or drop a net, he and our mother led us in ways that touched people’s hearts. He was a spiritual and gentle man that we thought walked on water, yet he wasn’t perfect and sometimes stumbled. Near his end of life, he ministered to many people of every kind, including prisoners who had few mentors in their lives and were judged harshly many times by their own families. He actually went to seminary during some of his high school years and did study the Word.

Although his life journey was sent in a much different direction, I am so blessed to have had my father’s example that brought old and new to our home. I believe this is what the Parable of the Net is trying to teach us. Whatever we do, do it in the name of the Lord and live everyday with Christ’s help.

Dear Lord,

increase our hunger for Your kingdom and nourish us,

so we may share Your word.

Help us to throw nets and collect people of every kind.

Paula Hunke-Davis
Respiratory Therapy, Avera St. Anthony's Hospital

JEREMIAH 18:1-6 • PSALM 146:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB • MATTHEW 13:47-53

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