Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: July 29, Lectionary # 404: Jeremiah 18:1-6 Psalm
146:1-2.2-4.5-6. Matthew 13:47-53:
“When Jesus finished the parable he moved on from that district.” Matthew
informs us that the third discourse has ended and a new book with a
discourse will open. Matthew thus is in contact with us his readers and
helps us to understand his perspective and point of view. This is a sign of
a good writer and preacher of the Good News of Jesus. In chapter 18 a
Community (Matthew’s Church) will be the fourth discourse.
Our parable of the large net is similar to the other parables of the
kingdom in its meaning. Here the judgment about the good and the bad is
again described. This gives the parable an eschatological perspective to
it and thus makes it similar to the parable of the weeds and the wheat.
The kingdom in the making is a mixture of the good and the rotten fish; the
angels and God will do the sorting at the end of time. Again patience and
tolerance are called for in seeing what will happen.
Verse 53 speaks of a good scribe who has become a good disciple. Matthew
probably envisions himself as being like a good scribe. His work is clear,
orderly, and easily heard or read. We learn that Matthew is a converted
Jew, maybe even a rabbi. He often cites the Old Testament and has a Jewish
slant to many of his stories. We know that from the beginning the early
Church insisted on our having both the Old and New Testament united as one
revelation from God. The sharp and critical Fr. John L. Mckenzie has this
to say about the scribe: “The scribe who has become a disciple will employ
both the old, the Law and the Prophets, and the new, the Gospel. Neither is
sufficient without the other; for the Gospel is the fullness of the Law.”
Fr. Viviano states, “…the verse suggests the existence and acitivity of
Christian scribes in Matthew’s church (Matt. 23:34). And …the verse has
rightly been taken as the autobiography or pen portrait of the evangelist.
It would also fit Paul.”
We thank God for the parables of the kingdom that Matthew has given us. We
see that he was more than a recorder of the words and actions of Jesus; he
was an evangelist, a theologian, and an excellent narrator. Amen.