3.Mt 13:44-52



What do we treasure most? In a spiritual sense there is only one treasure that brings happiness, that's Jesus. The Man in the first parable in the Gospel today  found the treasure( Kingdom of heaven) and went off happy( Mt 13:44). If we are not happy we still haven't  found Jesus or the Kingdom of Heaven. If we have not yet found that said treasure in the scripture, then do we have to set out on Journey to find this treasure, and do we need a map? yes we do.  The Journey is the journey into our own hearts, and the map has been given to us by Jesus Christ himself.

In the first two parables in the Gospel today ( Mt13:44-46) the men sold everything they had to acquire either the treasure or the pearl. Searching for Jesus and Kingdom means we face choices and have to make a decisions, sometimes hard decisions that we would prefer no to have to make. There will be passing treasures that in the short term are tempting but don't offer us the happiness we really want. In the first reading Solomon passed up on fleeting treasures in order to have God's wisdom, in order to discern between good and evil (1King3:5,7-12), there is a real treasure who gives us real happiness. By carrying our daily crosses we will discover a pearl inside us, and that pearl is Jesus.

To understand the background of this parable first and foremost, we need to know that  in the time of Jesus therewere many stories about treasures hidden in the fields. In those days wars and invasions by foreign armies were fairly frequent so people often had to flee from danger. They would bury their valuables in their fields, hoping to recover them when the danger passed. The owners did not return and their fields would  be taken over by others. One day a passer by might notice something shining in the middle of the field and suspecting  what it might be, would sell everything he possessed to buy that field.

The meaning of the two parables. A man who discovers a treasure or a pearl of huge value would covet it. He would go to any length to get it. Imagine people who see a neighbor selling everything, even his pots,and pans, and clothes to buy a piece of land that seems like any other piece of land. Wouldn't they think that their neighbor had gone mad??? Jesus says that whoever finds the Kingdom of God has discovered a great treasure.

Just think about the following examples
-What would people think if they saw a business man just seem to give away his hard earned profits? what would student say of fellow student who suddenly changes his style, give up his parties and girls and settles down to study to become a doctor not for profit/personal gain but to help others?
-What would villagers think of a drunkard who offended every body , who cared nothing for his children, and if one day he gave up drink, women and now spends his time and money to to support not only his family but also other families too?if such people found strength to do such things surely they must have found something far more precious!!!!

Have we changed since we found Christ? what did we really give up for him and his Kingdom?what do we most spend most of our time at? what makes Christians readily give up their faith for Money or to enhance their social standing? Is it weakness or are they not aware of the treasure they risk losing?

Our decision for the Kingdom of God should not be delayed, when God calls we must respond immediately. There are those who are aware that God is calling them to live baptism, to live the sacramental life of the church, yet they are stuck, and are not willing to give up certain customs,taboos, traditions, friendship and other ungodly affairs, might it be too late when they decide to do so? When we are offered such opportunity to discern a treasure and pearl by a Gospel message are we then quick to respond and find it?

Why are there so many an happy Christians, even priests and sisters go about with long depressed faces. If the y really appreciated the treasure they possessed  would they look so gloomy??

Thus today we learn a lesson that a Kingdom of God is both gratuitous gift from God and a fruit of searching on our part. The parable of a dragnet teaches us that in God's  house there still rooms to embrace all Kinds of people , yet at the end of time good people will be separated from bad ones( Eschatological judgement)- Refer  last Sunday's parable of the wheat and darner- The same theological message and teaching.

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Chapisha Maoni