DAILY MEDITATION (THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3)
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
Do Not Be Afraid
It is our holy Church that is compared to a net. The Church has been entrusted to fishermen, and draws all people out of the turbulent waters of the present age to the eternal Kingdom lest we drown in the depths of endless death. It gathers all kinds of fish because it calls to the forgiveness of sins the wise and foolish, free and slave, rich and poor, strong and weak. The psalmist says to God, every human being will come to you!… Twice in the Gospel we read that the Lord told his disciples to let down their nets while they were fishing, once before his Passion, and once after his Resurrection. Before our Redeemer suffered and rose, he ordered them to let down their net, but did not say whether they were to cast it on the right side of the boat or on the left. When he appeared to his disciples after his Resurrection, he ordered them to let down their net on the right side. In the earlier catch they took so many fish that their net was torn, but in the later, even though they took an enormous number of fish, the net was not broken….
The first catch of fish, in which no directions were given regarding where the net should be cast, represents the Church in this present age. The Church encompasses both the good and the bad…. The later catch, however, coming after the Lord’s Resurrection, takes place only on the right side of the boat, because [it is] the gathering of the chosen at the end of time, when they behold God’s glory…. In the first catch, the net was broken because of the huge number of fish it took in. In the present age the ranks of the unjust coexist side by side with the virtuous in professing the faith…. We live, so to speak, in the middle, in the midst of people belonging to both. The Church admits us all now, without distinguishing us, but she will separate us later when we leave this life…. Flowers spring up amidst briars. A fragrant rose grows alongside a piercing thorn…. My friends, before your time on earth is over, recall these examples.
Saint Gregory the Great
Saint Gregory the Great († 604) was one of the most important popes and influential writers of the Middle Ages. [From Be Friends Of God: Spiritual Reading from Gregory the Great. © 1990 John Leinenweber. Published by Cowley Publications, Cambridge, MA.]