Discovering the Riches of Heaven July 28, 2021


Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his disciples: “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.” Matthew 13:44

Today’s Gospel presents us with two very short and similar parables. In the first, quoted above, the Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a “treasure.” In the second parable, the Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a “pearl of great price.” Though these parables are very similar to each other, there are also subtle differences worth pondering. It appears that the treasure mentioned in the first parable is discovered almost by accident. The person simply “finds” it. This is in contrast to the second parable, in that the merchant who finds the pearl of great price did so after “searching” for it.

We often encounter the Treasure of the Gospel without even looking for it. We do so anytime God intervenes in our lives without us seeking His intervention. For example, if someone were to offer an act of charity to you without you seeking it out, this is God giving you a treasure of His Kingdom. Or if someone shares with you their faith, or an inspiration they received, this is indeed a treasure given to you by God. The problem is that many times when we are given these treasures of the Gospel, we do not always see them as treasures. Imagine, for example, if the person in this parable were to stumble upon the treasure in the field and fail to open it out of indifference. They see it from a distance, have a bit of curiosity about what is in the box, but they are not energetic enough to actually open the box and look inside. In that case, the person would have no reason to go and sell all that they have so as to buy the field in which the treasure is found.

One clear message that this first parable reveals is that we must be attentive to the countless treasures of God’s graces given to us each and every day. God is so prolific in offering us grace, that we truly do stumble upon His grace all the time. Thus, having eyes to perceive His actions and ears to Hear His Voice is essential.

A second message clearly given in both of these parables is that once we discover the graces God gives us every day, we must foster within ourselves a desire for those graces that is so strong that we are willing to do anything necessary to obtain them. The discovery is made through the gift of faith, but the discovery by faith must then be followed with a zeal that drives our will to conform to that discovery.

Reflect, today, upon two things. First, have you discovered the treasures God has given to you? If you hesitate in answering this, then it’s most likely the case that there is much you have yet to discover. Secondly, as you do discover the riches that come with the gift of faith, then have you allowed that which God has spoken to you to consume you to such a point that you are willing to sell all you have, meaning, do whatever it takes to further accept all God wants to bestow? Resolutely determine to go forth on this holy search and you will find that the riches of grace that you obtain are of infinite value.

My Lord of all riches, You bestow upon me and upon all Your children countless graces every day. The treasures of Your mercy are of infinite value. Please open my eyes so that I can see and my ears so that I can hear so as to discover all that You wish to bestow. May You and the riches of Your Kingdom become the one and only, all-consuming focus of my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

 

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Featured image above: Parable of the Hidden Treasure By Gerrit Dou or Rembrandt, via Wikimedia Commons