17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 30th July, 2017

Liturgical Reflection

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 Romans 8:28-30 Matthew 13:44-52

 

Have you ever wondered how you would react to finding yourself suddenly in possession of a priceless gift, something that would change your life forever? Jesus’ parables always invite those who ‘have ears to hear’, to rethink their values, to leave the past behind and give their lives a new direction. Some exegetes think that today’s parables were addressed to his inner circle of disciples, not to the crowd. So, as disciples we must ask ourselves what these parables say to us personally? What is their challenge?

The buried treasure and the priceless pearl are metaphors for the Kingdom of God Jesus came to establish. Whether we came upon the Gospel unexpectedly or after long searching, its value is such that every other precious thing is but a shadow beside it. Pope Francis speaks to us of the joy of discipleship. As we read, each parable may speak to different life experiences: those to whom the Gospel came as a delightful surprise; those to whom it came as a life-changing revelation; those who still struggle to detach themselves from things which had seemed to offer them the happiness they longed for.

 

Can I find myself in one or more of these groups? Am I surprised by joy, like the man who found the buried treasure? Or am I like the merchant who was willing to lose everything else in order to possess one superbly beautiful pearl? Or like the fisherman who must choose to reject all but the best fish in his catch?

How much does possession of the Kingdom mean to me? What lesser joys am I ready to forego now in order to possess it? Solomon asked for one gift, wisdom, in order to rule as a just king. What gifts of grace do I need today in order to be a faithful disciple of Jesus, who told us: I will be with you always and bids us: Ask and you will receive!

Sr Carmel Leavey OP