Matthew 13:44-46 NRSVue
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and reburied; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Lord, you hit me hard with this gospel. It calls for no compromises. The search for you, and the service of you, is the pearl of great price, the treasure worth more than all that I possess. You are not speaking of a single act of renunciation. You ask us to show that priority all through our life, in every decision we take.
People can give their time and energy for many causes and reasons. We can spend a lot of time making enough money to buy a good house, travel the world. We give up some things we like to get what we want. We sell a car to buy another car. We may give up personal interests to look after the family well. Marriage demands its sacrifices for the joy of the love it brings us, as does friendship. We know that to get something, we may have to give something else up. This is the sort of idea Jesus puts before us. His message is that the kingdom of God has come among us now. In him, God is very close to the world and to us. The marks of this kingdom are qualities like compassion, justice, love, mercy, peace of mind and heart, closeness to God. These are treasures of life, and to live by them, we will find ourselves giving up other concerns.
Real and authentic discovery of God brings joy. It is the joy of being in love and of staying in love with the one who never changes. We may let go of other loves then - even of people who keep us from the love of God. We are committed only to the treasure in the field, the love of God and the love of people who bring us to God. Our concern is to bring alive the gospel of Jesus in the world. We pray that others may find the treasure through us.
We treasure many things in life. We treasure some more than others. Our faith and love of God, the love of others and our care for them - these are treasures. They make us joyful and also challenge us to move out of narrow self-concern. In prayer we can be grateful for what we really value in life, and ask God that we value highly our relationship with him.
Hiding treasure seems to go against the inclination to share the good news. Perhaps there are times when I need to receive God's word quietly, turning it over in my heart, valuing it and considering my life in its light. Proclamation maybe for another time.
The parable points to the importance of being able to let go. I ask God to give me the freedom I need to lay aside my preoccupations, my plans–even my hopes–so that God’s way might unfold.