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Matthew 13:44-46

The Word of God

‘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.

Matthew 13:44-46
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • If something is so precious as to be priceless – then the value of everything we possess deflates by comparison.
    • But the treasure or the pearl here need not be taken as something outside ourselves. The pearl is the unique human life of each of us. The final book of the Bible speaks of a priceless stone held by God – with one’s own name inscribed on it. And – in the words of the prophet Isaiah – the Lord says to each of us : You are precious in my sight, and I have given kingdoms in exchange for you.
    • To lose this treasure – the uniqueness bestowed by God on my life – would be catastrophe. This same teaching appears elsewhere in the Gospel pages : What would it profit a person if they came to own the whole world – but suffered the loss of their own soul ?
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    • Imagine the reaction of the person who finds the hidden treasure in this parable, how their heart must have leapt to find it! Their whole life is turned around; for the first time in their life they have hope that things will be better. They can’t wait to tell their family; but know they have to keep the treasure a secret until they have bought the field. But the person’s family will notice the change in them and wonder what good news has got hold of them.
    • Lord, let your presence in my heart transform everything for me.
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    • In the second parable the Kingdom is compared to the seeker of the Kingdom. As Pascal learnt from God in prayer, ‘Take comfort, you would not be seeking me unless you had already found me’.
    • Seekers, who may be unclear about what exactly they are seeking but who pursue their search with sincerity, show by this very fact that God is with them. Their peace will be in the seeking, as it will eventually be in the finding.
    • “Let me seek you in desiring you; let me desire you in seeking you; let me find you in loving you; let me love you in finding you. (Saint Anselm).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • What is my pearl, the thing I value most? What is that buried treasure for which I would be willing to sacrifice everything?
    • What would the world be like if the pearl I seek were to be serving the poor and marginalised, and working for peace and justice? Jesus says the world would then be like the Kingdom of Heaven!
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    • Haven’t I read this parable before? Jesus says, ‘Yes, of course you have. But have you really heard it?’ I consider how I responded to the parable when I received it last and let my reaction then and my reaction now contrast with one another. The word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). If I am awake to it, it will call me to life.
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    • In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask that the kingdom will come among us and within us. But that will not happen without our co-operation.
    • The kingdom is a treasure as precious as the finest of pearls. It should be our greatest and most important possession. It means that my values are the values of God. Is that how I see it? Would anyone know?
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    • What Jesus describes could easily happen in a troubled land like Palestine. Ordinary people used the ground as the safest place to keep their most treasured possessions. There were caches of coins buried all over the country, forgotten when the owner died.
    • Lord, you talk of the joy of discovery. That is the sign that I have found your treasure, a deep happiness that nothing can separate me from you.