Homily July 27, 2014 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
One thing ingrained in all of us is that we want the best that we can have for ourselves. We all work hard and do our best to achieve a comfortable life and the same for our family. The parables today liken the kingdom of heaven to a treasure or an expensive pearl that prompts us to sell all that we have and use that to get the treasure or pearl and a better life. It is not hard to imagine a person so dedicated to a thing or a cause that his life is centered on one thing or goal. We see it around us in our daily life, in some athletes and business people driven by the lure of wealth and advancement and power. But really implanted in all of us is a desire for a goal in life, to make a difference and means to carry it out. As we grow we realize that one choice pretty much shapes future choices. So it is in our spiritual life. The treasure of God’s love might seem ethereal or out there, but it is real and is a call, a goal to seek. Throughout history, we might be surprised and even marvel at the dedication that that love brought about in different individuals. To see people who have dedicated their whole life to serve God by giving of themselves to others is always an inspiring thing. Some can do this and still support and lead a family life, while other choose to serve in a religious life. The point is really the selflessness they show in how they go about getting the treasure or pearl they see.
It is interesting, that Christ never mentions or goes into the ethics of hiding the treasure and buying the land and the ownership of the treasure belonging to the finder or the land owner. His concern was the value of the treasure, the kingdom of heaven. Its magnitude and importance pushed aside other considerations and truly one seeking the treasure of the kingdom would not be one to selfishly keep the news of the kingdom for himself. All who are called learn to embrace others. Their wealth, their treasure, their love becomes present for all. Giving up everything and selling it all to get the treasure, is more than hitting the lottery, rather it is the beginning of a foundation for life. God’s love is a starting point and a compass on a journey that twists and turns and has peaks and valleys along the way. As long as our eye is on that treasure, God’s love will lead us there.