Scripture Readings: 1 Kings 3.5,7-12; Romans 8.28-30; Matthew 13.44-52
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in joy goes and sells all he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13.44
Sunday’s gospel begins with two parables about finding, selling, and buying. A farmer finds a treasure in a field and a merchant finds a pearl of great value. Buying the field and the pearl totally realign their lives and resources. What treasure is worth selling all one has to find joy? What has the farmer found? What pearl is worth every thing? What is the merchant really looking for?
Jesus lets us reveal ourselves in what we imagine the treasure is. Is it family, spouse, purpose? Is it Jesus? The parables make most sense if we understand the treasure or the pearl as a relationship. I find a person who becomes an abiding source of joy in marriage. I find a purpose worthy of my life, love, and energy.
The first Sisters of St. Joseph describe themselves as seized by God’s love. The love that seized them not only engaged them wholeheartedly but also revealed a treasure within each one, a passion for ministering to poor people in their midst.
When African slaves encountered Christianity in America, the gospel delivered a message radically different from the docility slave owners intended. The slaves heard that God loves all people and that Jesus has died and risen to new life for all people — slaves and free. God’s love seizes them and gives them dignity.
Black Church grows up around a liberating God who knows and hears the suffering of slaves. The gospel empowers them to sing their suffering and look over Jordan in hope, to resist debasement and work toward freedom.
Faith in Jesus costs nothing and everything. To follow Jesus requires a wholehearted willingness to love others as Jesus as loved us.
How has God’s love seized you? What treasure do you seek? What does it reveal about you? What gives you joy?