Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary time, July 26, 2020
Readings: First Reading: 1 Kings 3: 5 – 12; Responsorial Psalm: 119; Second Reading: Romans 8: 28 – 30; Gospel: Matthew 13: 44 – 52
Our first reading for this week is from the first book of Kings, and it has to do with Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, the great Israelite king who built the temple, and who eventually became a problematic figure in Israelite history. This passage puts us right at the very beginning of Solomon’s reign, when he was just a young man—untried, inexperienced, likely beset by all sorts of self-doubt. And Yahweh appears to Solomon in a dream and says, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” This is an extraordinary moment—and let’s attend with some care to Solomon’s answer.
Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount said, ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and all else will be added to you’. In other words Jesus wanted us to be convinced of the truth that the giver is greater than the gifts. And the word of God today in our Sunday readings points out the same truth. First reading points out that King Solomon was the luckiest guy in the world to be blessed by God for what he prayed. Solomon wanted nothing but wisdom, namely God himself. In the second reading Paul writes, ‘we know that all things work for good for those who love God.’ That means if we possess God as everything in our life, then all things that happen to us, even if they seem bad, they will turn to be good to us. In the parables of Jesus we are given some guidelines for life-management in this world, that tell us to take the risk of investing everything on God.
There is an absolute need for all of us to have a goal in life. In order to enjoy and celebrate our human life daily we need to have a clear-cut goal to be achieved. For every step we take, our mind needs to set up its own goal. Even the very heart beating spontaneously, has its own goal either to beat or to stop. ‘Where the measure is there our hearts are.’ It is impossible to survive in this world, without any motive and intention, without any aim or goal. Everyone should uphold a goal as a treasure and make one’s life a search, a hunt for it. There are so many things, life offers us, to achieve as goal: For example, money, relationship, popularity, power, pleasure entertainment, sleep, restfulness, love, and so on.
People who are the disciples of Jesus are prudent and smart people as King Solomon. They try to be wise and very picky about their choices. They want that one thing, not to be short lived or short experienced. They keep their goal to be eternal, forever, and it must stay with them even after their death. They prefer God to his creation, the Giver to the gifts, the whole to its part, the creator to his creatures. In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us to be obsessed and impudent not only when we are in pursuit of the treasure, but also in possessing it once we got it. Look at the men in the parables. Even though they discovered the treasure and the precious pearl in different ways, both are obsessed in their pursuit. In the third parable Jesus extends this obsession further and tells us to be closely adhered to the treasure we got, till our end of life for the eternal reward. He wants us to connect this world pursuit to the other world. Mere fluctuation, flirting, wavering, irresolute, vacillating will do no good in life pursuit of this treasure hunt. It needs strong will and smartness with certain impudence, faith, trust, madness, blindness, deafness, dumbness.
Inside every successful treasure hunter there is this mania or passion on what they were aiming, what they esteem as their treasure. This pursuit of the eternal treasure is what life is all about. It is indeed a very risky business. God wants us today to take the risk in possessing Him as our one and only treasure. This pursuit of the eternal treasure is what life is all about. It is indeed a very risky business. God wants us today to take the risk in possessing Him as our one and only treasure. The eternal invitation of the Gospel of Jesus is to sell everything that are temporary, material, earthly and physical in order to achieve God the Giver of gifts as the greatest valuable treasure of our life. Most of us are afraid to respond to this Gospel’s invitation; many of us life to wait until all our material , possessions are dwindled and shrunk. Some of us play the game of in and out, in this treasure hunt. Very few among us like Solomon, like Jesus, Mary and many other saints, wholeheartedly submit our entire possession, the talents, the energy, the savings, and even the very life in order to buy the treasure of eternal life. Let us join with those few wise disciples of Jesus.
God bless you. Have a wonderful weekend.