17th Sunday O.T. (A)
THE CHRISTIAN’S REAL TREASURE:
GOD AND HIS KINGDOM
- Summary of ideas of today’s Sunday liturgy
- Where God is not, nothing can be good. What are your life’s priorities?
I have said, O Lord, that my part is to keep your words. The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces Psalm 118
Today’s Sunday liturgy reminds us that fulfilling God’s will, keeping His commandments, living the Gospel, discerning good from evil and doing the good are worth more than thousands of gold and silver coins (Psalm 118).
- This is what the 1st reading (1 Kgs 3:5, 7–12) presents to us the example of Solomon, who had the chance to ask God for a long life, riches or the lives of his enemies, but asked Him instead for “an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong” to listen and to govern, which was what God called him.
Today’s Gospel (Mt 13:44–52) underlines the same idea in the parables of the treasure hidden in the field and the pearl merchant.
“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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Giving up everything to possess the kingdom of heaven is worthwhile. God first: we must not put anything over and above God in our life. And if the time comes when choosing God and our faith over the worldly material things cause us immense difficulties, let us not forget what St. Paul teaches us in the 2nd reading (Rom 8:28–30):
Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.
Everytime we pray the Our Father, the 1st petition we ask Him is “Thy Kingdom come.”
- “With this request we recognize in the first place God’s primacy: where He is not, nothing can be good. Where God is not seen, man also decays and so does the world. In this sense, the Lord tells us: “Seek first of all the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and the rest will be given to you” (Mt 6:33). These words establish an order of priorities for human action, for our attitude in daily life…” (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth).
Dear brethren in Christ: Is God, your Catholic faith, holiness, reaching heaven the first and foremost priority in your life?
- “Anyone who understands the Kingdom which Christ proposes realizes that it is worth staking everything to obtain it (J. Escrivá, Chris is passing by, 180).”
- Faith, vocation, true wisdom, desire for heaven, are things which sometimes are discovered suddenly and unexpectedly, and sometimes after much searching (cf. St Gregory the Great, In Evangelia homiliae, 11). However, man’s attitude is the same in both parables and is described in the same terms: “he goes and sells all that he has and buys it”: detachment, generosity, is indispensable for obtaining the treasure.
O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has value, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass. in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. Opening prayer, Mass
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ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: Jose Maria Leal (sculptor), Detail of the Float of the Mystery of Nuestra Señora del Carmen Doloroso (Sevilla) in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/ba9dc-angelescarmendoloroso04.jpg