Message from Deacon Tim Schulz
“The Pearl of Great Worth”
In the reading from the Book of Kings, God appears to King Solomon in a dream, and says, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Can you imagine being put in that position? What would we ask of God? Depending on what our needs or wants are we might ask for health for others, enough money for our families, safety for those in dangerous occupations, and so on. This was the opportunity of a lifetime if King Solomon would have been centered on worldly things, material wealth, …but he wasn’t egotistical and greedy. No, …this opportunity was a found treasure, a pearl of great price for him, because it was an opportunity to show his love for God by serving the people of Israel and Judah, as a wise and generous King.
In the second reading, Saint Paul tells the Romans, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” What is Saint Paul telling us in this passage? It appears he is telling us to focus on God, search for God, just as the Merchant in the Gospel searched for the pearl. Are we willing to give up everything to find the treasure, which in reality is the Kingdom of God? If we are willing, it means making him the center of our lives!!!
The first two parables in the Gospel of Matthew show just how important that search is in ultimately leading us to the Kingdom of heaven, and eternal salvation. They teach us that we should place everything we value in the service of the pursuit of the Kingdom of God. Jesus believed in the ability of the people to understand the parables. The parables were told in a way that the people of his time could relate to. In his time there were no bibles and most people were illiterate. The way they learned the scriptures was by a Rabbi, a learned person telling them stories.
In modern society we have the opportunity to read and understand the Word of God by not only immersing ourselves in the bible, but we have access to sacred teachings and writings of saintly people who dedicated their lives to searching for the treasure and cultivating a relationship with God. The saints listened to Jesus’ words: “He who has eyes ought to see, and he who has ears ought to hear.”
So this Gospel is asking us to open our eyes and our ears to the Kingdom of God. Jesus is asking us to search, search for him in the scriptures, and in our daily lives; maybe even within our own hearts. Jesus wants us to search for him by looking for opportunities to love him; not only through prayer and adoration, but through service to those in need. We’ll find real treasure when we give of ourselves for the good of others.
Over the last few weeks we have heard a number of parables from Jesus that help us to reflect on how we should live our lives. In reflecting on the parables you will find that many are open ended. We have to take this as a sign that Jesus believed in the ability of each of us to discover the meaning of the parables; starting with our own search and life experiences. Jesus is saying, “That’s it. You’ve heard! Now search for understanding!!
Peace and Blessings!!