July 28th, 2021

A Reading form the Gospel According to Matthew 13:44-46

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” 

Opening Prayer: 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 who endure. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen

Encountering Christ:

The two persons in today’s reading were seeking what was most precious for them: they knew certain things are more valuable than others, certainly worth giving up, one for the other. Once they found what they were seeking, they were free enough to sell all they had because they realized the value of the treasure and of the pearl. We ask ourselves whether we are seeking something really valuable in life, like those in this the parable.

The man, who found the treasure, goes off happy, full of the joy of the Gospel. The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, emptiness and loneliness. With Christ, joy is constantly born anew. Let us ask for that joy that comes from a real encounter with Jesus.

This parable is very similar to the one about the wheat and the weeds. There are always those who wish for a Church, which includes only good people, where the bad ones are left out. They do not realize that it would probably be an empty church, for God has chosen to be merciful and patient with us sinners, leaving the judgment, of our lives, to the very end. Aren’t we all sinners, called by God to accept his mercy in our lives?

Imagine a treasure that you would sell everything you own to have in your possession. Once you acquire that treasure, you would no longer experience the need to want. You would enjoy all that was needed. In the spiritual life, this is the goal of “letting go.” Far from you becoming a vagabond, it implies you are striving to put all things in their proper place. When we let go of the obsession to control, the driving anxiety to possess the same things as our neighbor, the necessity to be the center of attention, we make space for Christ. He takes the ‘front and center’ place in our lives. Our motives change and suddenly we are free to enjoy the prosperity, people, and opportunities that are within our scope. We do so, not greedily, but with free, simple, and humble hearts, aware of the gift of stewardship that the Lord bestows upon us as disciples in his kingdom. 

The image that the Lord used in this parable is very inquisitive. Why did the man rebury the treasure and buy the entire field? It seems he didn’t want to take any chances of losing the great gift he had just found. He wanted to ensure that he remained in full possession of the treasure. How do we seek to preserve the treasure of our faith, maintain the gift that we have already received, and cultivate the soil where God’s grace is needed? 

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your companionship. Thank you for the gift of our faith. Help us to see whatever in our life is an obstacle, preventing us from holding onto the one true treasure. Give us the strength to let theses obstacles go. Grant us the grace to hold on to it only in order to share the treasure we have already received, which is you.

Lord, today by your grace, help us to be attentive to the desires of the heart, which reveal what we hold on to as treasures. You will always be our greatest treasure.

Photo by Khairul Onggon on Pexels.com

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