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17th Sunday of the Year A

Today’s Mass Readings

17th Sunday of the Year A

Whole segments of our society are being polarized and there seems to be no end in sight. 

The parable of the net thrown into the sea 
seems straightforward. 

We keep the good fish to take home with us 
and throw away the bad fish. 


Similarly, in our own minds 
we can easily decide 
who in our life and world is good 
and valuable and who is useless. 

Sometimes we do this with individuals 
but we are witnessing now 
how whole segments of our population 
can be considered by some as bad fish. 

Policeman, protesters and whole races of people 
are being polarized to the point 
that we no longer see individuals as people 
with family and a history and a reason to live. 


This is happening in the political arena as well. 

People are labeled by the party to which they belong. 

It boils down to, “We are the insiders and they are the outsiders.” 

This is overtaking our nation and our world. 

But we are not the final judge 
of whom is valuable and who is useless. 


There is another way to relate with people, 
giving each one their individual dignity. 

We can be free of passing judgment 
on what some would call bad fish. 

Through the grace of our own conversion 
we can choose to have a merciful outlook on another 
or at least a curiosity to understand someone different from us. 


We can choose to look past our differences 
to seek Jesus in them, the Pearl of great price, 
the Treasure buried in the field, lying under all that divides us. 

It’s amazing how we care for those 
whom we take time to get to know 
and come to love, people we come to understand. 

Each person has a value all their own. 

Our culture would have us polarize ourselves 
from anyone different from us. 

This is not Jesus. 


We remember well the Samaritan woman 
who was divorced 5 times and living with a man 
who was not her husband. 

Jesus was so free that he walked up to her 
when no one else would approach her 
and asked her for a drink of water from her well. 

We know this because women always 
came to the well together. 

She was alone. 


Let’s seek out that beautiful treasure 
in someone we consider a bad fish. 

The grace of God will free us if we really want it. 

Take some time and dig deep to get to know them 
and we will find the Pearl of great price. 


Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida. After 22 years as Parochial Vicar, he was appointed Pastor by Bishop Gregory Parkes in June 20, 2017.

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