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Thursday 17th Week of the Year

Today’s Mass Readings

Thursday 17th Week of the Year

Matthew 13:47-53

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 pretty 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 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 who 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, 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.

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.

Take some time and dig deep to get to know them
and we will find our 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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