Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his disciples: ”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.”
Deja vu. Christ is the master of life, death and even parables. Today’s Gospel passage reminds us an encounter he had with a rich young man: “Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor, then come follow me.” It also reminds us of an interesting conversation He had with His Heavenly Father: You have hidden [the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven] from the wise and prudent and revealed them to the child-like (cf Mt 11:25).
So what is my treasure? What am I looking for in life?
Recently, I came across this saying: “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” Oh, there is nothing more sentimental and useless than a circular argument. How can I give meaning to life if I don’t know the meaning of life? Today, the Lord is challenging His followers to dig deeper. To not simply scratch the surface (I don’t hurt anyone) but to take a shovel and seriously start digging.
But let’s not forget. It’s not only important to start digging but to dig in the right place. Otherwise, I could spend my entire life searching and searching and only coming up empty and filthy!
Is it possible that no one has discovered or revealed the meaning of life?
Christ. He is the treasure. He is the meaning of life. He is the treasure that is worth digging for, sacrificing for and even dying for. He is the God that hides behind the man; or better, the God that reveals man. Today’s parable was directed towards Himself and His Apostles. In me you will find yourselves and God.
It’s totally understandable that, at first, this Truth was not easily accepted. But with time, and plenty of digging, the Apostles came upon this treasure and it changed their lives and the course of human history.
Faith. Faith is a treasure that is often found in barren lands, like silence, loneliness and sickness. I have always found it amazing where faith can grow!
Faith in Christ can change everything about us: our focus, our goals, our character, our habits, our lives. Without a doubt, it is the greatest treasure we could ever possess on earth. With it, I can get through the toughest moments in my life. Without it, I can easily find myself in a vicious circle of violence, resentment, anger and revenge. With it, it can direct my life in service towards others. Without it, it can easily turn all my attention towards myself.
Faith in God is a treasure buried deep within us. To go deeper into it is not limited to studying it more, but experimenting with it more and, hence, experiencing it more. To do so requires losing oneself and searching for someone else; that is, living like Christ in order to discover Christ.
The fact that faith is buried deep within us simply means it can only be found through prayer and work. It’s time to get rid of the rake and take a sledgehammer and break through the stones and other obstacles that separate me from God. One such sledgehammer is known as Baptism; another, as Confession.
Let’s all start digging.
Soul. The soul is another treasure just waiting to be found buried underneath a tough layer of skin! It might not look like it from the surface, but we were all made to love and be loved. We know it, but do others? We can see it, but can others?
There is a child of God in us that is just waiting to come out of us! Poor Solomon. He asked for wisdom instead of holiness. What a mistake. What an unwise decision. He should have asked for holiness. Ask for holiness! What a mistake. Whereas one could go wrong with wisdom, how can anyone go wrong with holiness? Wisdom can easily be self-serving, whereas holiness can only be self-giving.
Out of Joy. How can I find joy in my life? Start digging. Faith is the tool that get’s us digging and Christ is the key that unlocks the treasure that is my soul.