PS 99:5, 6, 7, 9,
THE MAN WHO HAS GOD FOR HIS TREASURE HAS ALL THINGS IN ONE
For us Africans if we are asked, what is our greatest treasure we answer immediately, ‘our family.’ It is because we consider our family as the source of our strength and inspiration. Despite the different ups and downs we experience in the family still the love that unites us continues to grow deeper and the bond that we have for each other keeps us together.
Today’s gospel parable compares the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure or to a pearl of great price. Pearls, in the ancient world, represent the supremely valuable and the greatest treasure a man could possess. In biblical times, people were constantly threatened by brigands, domestic wars and foreign invasions.
And so, what they did in order to safeguard their most cherished belongings especially money and jewellery, they bury them in the ground. It is because they had no safe, no vaults to keep their priceless possessions. And if the owners die or is exiled and could not go back anymore, the treasures are still buried in the ground for years to be found later by some treasure hunters.
But today’s parable is not about the laws governing ownership of treasures. It is because the discoverer knows that the field is not his but he can gather money in order to buy the field. But actually, the law says that it belongs to the finder. In other words, the gospel passage is about discovering God’s Kingdom.
When we discover the God’s kingdom we receive the greatest possible treasure, the Lord Himself. Jesus is the Kingdom in person. He is the priceless gift of the Father for our salvation. And so, if we discover Him in our lives, we abandon everything even our own families and follow Him as His disciples.
I will invite you to reflect on three important words that describe about the joy of discovering God’s Kingdom.
1. Hardwork. If we are going to live our faith it is like digging for lost treasure. To discover God’s Kingdom requires of us hard work. Jesus says: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit,” (John 12:24).
Somebody had said that our journey into the Kingdom of God has its share of pain, blood, sweat and tears. We must work hard in our spiritual lives in order to uncover and dig up the pearl of great price. When it is all over, God’s promise of eternal life is fulfilled and an experience of intense joy, contentment and peace in possessing this invaluable treasure.
2. High priced. The Gospel is clear that our hearts should not be searching for cheap entertainments. The Kingdom will cost us plenty. The Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta says: “Give until it hurts,” still others say: “Give until it helps.”
We must at least give until we are detached from the things and attitudes of the world. The world is full of false needs and just as many empty promises. Are we willing to detach ourselves from these worldly things in order to possess “the pearl of great price”?
3. Great results. Christ never disappoints but we are ones who disappoint Him and often we do it. But God’s Kingdom will come to us on this earth when we detach ourselves from the empty promises and things of this world and adhere to the Gospel message of conversion, forgiveness, justice and peace. Our Lord wishes that the fire of his charity would inflame our hearts and wishes they were ablaze already.
Be encouraged today to persevere in attaining “what eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” (1Cor 2:9).