The parable of the dragnet has the same message as that of the wheat and the darnel. God in his desire to give a chance to every person to repent, lets the good and the bad co-exist, in the same way as a fisherman drags out of the lake all kinds of fish both good and bad. But at the end of time there will be a separation of the good and the bad. As C. Lewis once said, in the end there will only be two kinds of people: those who have said to God "thy will be done" and those to whom God will say "thy will be done."
As Jesus himself said, no one knows when the ultimate end, the final judgment will come. It may be in our lifetime or it may not be around for millions of years to come. What we are more certain about is that our own lifetime cannot last a very long time. When that time comes, whether this year, or the next; whether in ten years of fifty, what our state shall be before God will very much determine how we shall fair at the final judgment. We should all want to be found in a state of grace. It does not help to hope that shortly before we shall go to confession and then receive viaticum. There is abundant warning in the gospels that we should always be prepared, for we do not know the day and the hour when the Lord will call.
The best way to prepare for the final judgment and to do it today, and every day, one day at a time. The basic question is: what does God want me to do today? Now? When we learn to live in the NOW and to make the best of the present moment, then we do not need to worry about the future, whether the ultimate future when we shall encounter God, or even the earthly mediate future of our mundane concerns. We can then see God as the provident and loving Father that he is, and not a judge who wants finally to decide whether we are for him or against him.
Thursday, 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Parable of the Dragnet