The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s gospel highlights the human experience of finding a huge treasure causing great delight. In the news media we see the thrill of someone who has come upon a sudden good fortune. And all of us have experienced the pain of losing something and the joy of finding it again. Let’s translate this into the fabric of our religious life. What is the “pearl of great price” for you? What gives you passion and zeal? What really motivates you religiously and gives you focus and energy and delight? Have you found it or are you still searching?
Don’t give a too-quick answer or just a catechetical definition. Rather, in the spirit of St. Ignatius, pray over this and let the Holy Spirit reveal the answer that God has already planted in your heart. Not just the answer but the “fire and passion” hidden within that answer. Something uniquely yours. A pearl of great price . . . It’s yours!.
—Fr. Jim Serrick, S.J. is a long-time musician, liturgist, and pastor. He currently serves at Colombiere Jesuit Center, Clarkston, MI.
May God strengthen you inwardly through the working of his Spirit. May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, and may charity be the root and foundation of your life. Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, so that you may attain to the fullness of God.
—Ephesians 3: 16-19Please share the Good Word with your friends!