There is a powerful thread running through these readings. God is with us in all the things of our lives and is involved with us throughout our lives helping through his Spirit to maximise our potential. We will not be abandoned! We are after all, not called to be a settled community but to be a movement spreading the Gospel to all and to each wherever we find ourselves in the world.
The parable in our Gospel today is a marvelous reminder that our propensity to judge others is finely honed! We are just really good at it in most communities. The truth is that none of us are qualified to judge, only God has that privilege!
This parable reminds us that judgment will come but that it is in God’s hands alone. It reminds us too just how difficult it is for us to tell the good from the bad. We are not able to see into each others hearts in the way that God can. [Liturgy 2014]
Preachers often prefer to skip over the part that talks about “wailing and gnashing of teeth” as the sinful are gathered up and thrown into the fire but some commentators suggest that when Jesus says that the angels will collect all ‘stumbling blocks and all those who act lawlessly’ and toss them aside to burn in the fire, Jesus means that everything within us that causes sin will be burned away! There is the hope in this parable. The ill that we do will not condemn us as we grow and it is only in the final analysis that the evil will be sorted from the good. And it reminds us too not to be so quick to judge others in our daily lives.