Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.” (Matthew 13:47.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“And this net has been cast into the waves of the sea. The waves toss about persons in every part of the world as they swim in the bitter affairs of life. Before the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, this net was not wholly filled. The net expected by the Law and the Prophets had to be completed by him who says, “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law and the prophets; I came not to destroy but to fulfill.” The texture of the net has been completed in the Gospels and in the words of Christ through the apostles. On this account, therefore, “the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea and gathered every kind of fish.” In addition to what has been said, the expression “gathered from every kind” may refer to the calling of the Gentiles out of every nation. ” (Commentary on Matthew, 10.)

O God,
protector of those who hope in You,
without whom nothing has firm foundation,
nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance Your mercy upon us
and grant that, with You as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen