The pearl of great price awaits all who recognize it
Reflections on the readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 26, 2020): 1 KGS 3:5,7-12; PS 119:57,72,76-77,127-128,129-130; ROM 8:28-30; MT 13:44-52
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Today’s Gospel reading offers the last of the parables of Jesus that we have heard in recent weeks. First, He tells the crowds around Him about a treasure in a field that someone discovers. This person joyfully gives up every possession in order to gain this treasure. In this case the discovery seems like an accident. A buried treasure! The finder sees its value and immediately does what he needs to do to claim. In Jesus’ next brief parable, we hear that “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” (Matthew 13:45-46). In both stories we meet a person who makes a great discovery of untold riches and willingly sells everything he owns to have something truly priceless. The merchant has been looking actively for this pearl “of great price.” What he finds, however, is much more than that. It is absolutely priceless.
Some of us seek the treasure of the kingdom of heaven and try faithfully and willingly to give God our whole lives as we try to know and draw closer to Him day by day. Others may seem to stumble into the truth of God’s mercy and His plan for their place in the world as His loved and loving children. What matters is that we do claim the kingdom of God for our own. We accomplish this by gratefully and humbly serving Him and caring for others, especially those in greatest need. Then, together, we will all know the eternal joy of heaven with our King.
Suggested missionary action: We, too, can own the pearl of great price for ourselves. We gain it through our single-hearted following of our Lord and our concern for His people. God gives us so much. We must be willing to return is to Him by doing all He asks of us.