Life is the treasure we have found in Christ Jesus

May the Lord give you peace and health in the Holy Spirit.  It is 30th July 2023.  We

May the Lord give you peace and health in the Holy Spirit.  It is 30th July 2023.  We reflect on 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12; Romans 8:28-30 and Matthew 13:44-52.

We are celebrating the 17th Sunday of the Ordinary Time.

We are all searching for something every day and everywhere.  Some search for love and recognition, some others for riches and fame, and a handful of us still search for Wisdom, Truth, and Life.  A few of us have found Him and celebrating while many are still searching, and some others are frustrated giving up the search.

“If you seek me with all your heart and soul, you will find me.” (Jer. 29:13)

An elderly woman lived in Scotland alone. She was so poor and so the basic ecclesial community had to support her livelihood. Her only son lived in the United States and was wealthy. Every weekend the son sent a loving letter to his beloved mother.  The elderly lady read the letter without fail and preserved the picture that came along with the letter in the bible.  She was a bit annoyed with herself why the son sent the same picture every week. A visitor from the community paid her a visit.  The visitor was curious to know why the son is not taking care of her and so she enquired about the son.  The elderly lady was full of praise for her son’s caring thoughtfulness.  Tickled by curiosity, the visitor wanted to know what the son used to write her week after week with the same picture. She told the visitor to find the letters for herself in the Bible.  The moment the visitor opened the Bible, she got surprised to see a 100-dollar bill on every page of the bible.

The treasure was right near her, yet she did not realise the worth of it.

We did not receive the picture of Jesus but the person from God.  Most of us are satisfied with the picture of Him and still relate with the picture not so willing to explore Jesus as a person.

We are all looking for help elsewhere while we are so near to the treasure and the pearl in the person of Jesus.

Jesus says, “Search, you will find.” (Mt.7:7).  If our search includes service, motivation, and sacrifice, we will find the Kingdom of God in the very person of Jesus. To find Jesus is the utmost joy of our life.  Nothing compares to or comes closer to having Jesus in our life.   Two parables in today’s Gospel expound the Kingdom of God.

Life is not a treasure hunt.  Life is the treasure we have found in Christ Jesus.  His Holiness Pope Francis calls it that it is a journey of finding God who reveals himself in the Word of the Father, Jesus.

Let us not be complacent being a Christian without having a personal encounter and experience with Jesus in His Word.

Life will be a waste of time and quest if we only spend all our energy and efforts to search after something that is transitory pleasures, fame, and wealth.

In the first reading, Solomon searched for wisdom and understanding and so God gave three gifts to him: a listening heart, riches, and universal renown. “The one whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted, and the prayer will reach to the clouds.” (Sirach 35:20).  Whenever we serve the suffering humanity, we experience the Kingdom of God.   “Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.” (2 Tim. 1:14). Mahatma Gandhi exhorts us, “Serving others is the way to find God in ourselves.”

In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us that God has chosen us to motivate others to come closer to God through the person of Jesus. “I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Phil. 3:8). No one is a Christian by chance but by choice.  “We know that God makes everything work for good for those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).  Finding Jesus and emulating Him is the purpose of our call.  We are the ones God has chosen to deliver the message of love, hope, peace, and justice.  It is not enough to be a Christian we need to find Christ Jesus, the treasure, the pearl, and the Kingdom of God.  Let us leave all the attachments that make us to be detached from Christ. “Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven.” (Lk.12:33).

God is after those who do sacrifices for the benefit of lifting the lives of others. “Live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph. 5:2).

Pope Francis taught us about what is the Kingdom of God in his homily (July 26, 2014)   “In the giving of oneself and in attention to the poor and the outcast. Take care of the poor and the outcast! it is not important to me that you do this or that, it is important to me that the orphan is cared for, that the widow is cared for, that the outcast person is heard, that creation is protected. This is the Kingdom of God!” Ron Rolheiser writes, “Jesus Christ has no hidden secrets, only open secrets that we fail to understand.”

The third parable invites us to be inclusive in our faith encounters.  “The Kingdom is like a person, the head of a household, who brings out of the treasure from the room the new and the old.” (Mt.13:52). A learned person of expertise in God’s law needs to take everyone on board.  There is no way we can leave someone behind for any reason under the Sun.  we are all called to be tolerant, compassionate, and understanding of the ones that fall short of our expectations and standards.  Constantly identifying Jesus in others good and bad, we experience the Kingdom of God.  “Those who well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). The role of the family and community is to accept into its bosom “the poor, the crippled, the blind, the lame” (Luke 14:21) and lead them to the person of Jesus, the treasure and the pearl of great price.

Family values we treasure are to reflect the service, motivation, and sacrifice of the Kingdom of God.  What is the most endearing thing we will let go to have the kingdom of God experience in our families?

If God is not the security, happiness, and peace of our families, then nothing else can be.  When we know what we need, we want to pursue the path of the Truth.  By the grace of God and by our intensive quest, we will meet Christ in our families and in the extended family, the community.

May our charity and prayers help someone experience what we have experienced in Jesus.   May you have a lovely day.  God bless you abundantly.

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