For the third Sunday in a row, we reflect on the parables of Christ. Parables are ways Jesus points us to the unknown through the known. We are to draw lessons about the mysteries of faith through stories we can relate to. We have three parables from today's Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 13. Christ reveals the mystery of the kingdom of heaven or God to us as part of the cost of discipleship. If we want to follow Christ and embrace His kingdom, we must be ready to pay the cost.
Let us dwell briefly on one of the first of the three parables in our pericope today. "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 the field" (Mt 14 44). Treasures are hidden in fields in ancient times. Anyone working in the field can accidentally find treasures. In this story of comparison, we can argue that Jesus is saying to us that the reign or dominion of God can be found or traced in our daily tasks. Whatever human venture we engage in, we can find an opportunity to accomplish God's will. From being a businessman to being a sports person, from being a parent to being a law enforcement agent, God's will and reign can and should be cultivated in whatever is our calling or vocation.
Are we willing to pay the price of discipleship? In other words, are we willing to allow God's kingdom to have a hold in our life? If so, we must be willing to sell all that we have and obtain God's dominion in our life. We must be willing to make sacrifices of certain pleasures to obtain the highest treasure, God's will. Also, we must be willing to make these sacrifices in the spirit of pure joy and trust. God loves a cheerful giver.
What are we willing to give up for us to attain the joy of the kingdom? What are we willing to put into making God's will be done in our lives? Prayerfully think of the opportunities we have in our daily routine to bear witness to God's will and ask for the grace to give up anything to accomplish that will. What we may be called to "sell" to "buy the field" of God's treasure could cost a lot, but it is worth it. With joy, let us give today to acquire the reign of God in our lives.
On a different note: do you know that the month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? What are your plans in August to deepen your love for the Mother of Christ, our Saviour? August is not only a month of the plethora of feasts (for example, the Assumption); it is the month of my feast day and birth. I always look forward to August with JOY!
In His Joy,
Fr. Bernard, OP