July 25, 2011

The Sell and Buy Business

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Matthew 13: 44-52

Our gospel today is all about finding the real treasure in our life. Without any doubt, we say, we found our treasure! God Himself is our greatest treasure and pearl of great value. As Christians, we know that God must be at the center of our lives. We agree that our decisions and actions must always be in line with God’s commandments. Amen! But when we look closer at our lives, we can see some inconsistencies between what we say and what we do. We don’t really walk the talk.

Let’s look closer. Some of us prefer to clean the garden than to attend Sunday Mass with their families. Some choose to work overtime on Sundays for an extra income than to chat with their children. Some could afford to read their friends’ status and view photos in their Facebook for hours, but they don’t have time for prayer and spiritual readings. Some likes listening to music but not listening to a confused friend. Some loves window shopping but not volunteering in a soup kitchen. We are curious about Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, but not with the life of Jesus. We can easily add more to this short list of our misgivings. We are blinded. We tell our children that God is important in our life, yet our priorities, decisions, and actions contradict what our lips are saying. If we are true to our words that God is our treasure or pearl of great prize, then let’s really prioritize God in our life both in our words and actions.

The parables call us to give up our treasures of lesser value before it’s too late. Material blessings could give us satisfaction and self-gratification, but not genuine happiness that could last forever. Thus, the selling and buying of treasures are necessary. Let’s evaluate our priorities and rearrange them according to their importance in our life. Let’s not waste our God given grace – time, talent, treasure - to something which is not really important in the end.

Look closer at your life. Reflect. What really is your pearl of great value? If it’s God, do people see it in your actions? If you have a social life, do you have a spiritual life? How much of your quality time goes to your family? How do you handle your God-given time, talent and treasure? Do you see them as graces given to us to buy “heavenly treasures” by using them to help those in need? Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mt. 6:21).

A hermit was praying by the river when a young man disturbed him, “Master, I want to become your disciple.” The hermit said, “Why?” The young man said: “Because I want to find God.” The hermit grabbed him in his neck and dipped his head under water. After a minute of kicking and struggling, the hermit pulled the young man out of the water. The young man gasped to catch his breath. And the hermit said, “Tell me, what do you want most when you were under water.” “Air!” answered the young man. Then the hermit said, “Then go home first and come back again when you want God as much as you just wanted air.”

The Kingdom of God is not totally free. We need to work for it to merit it. Let’s use our God given gifts – time, talents and treasures - to acquire a place in God’s Kingdom. It’s urgent and necessary, for the Kingdom of God is worth keeping than all of our worldly treasures combined.

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Prayer: "God our Father and Protector, without you nothing is holy, nothing has value. Guide us to everlasting life by helping us to use wisely the blessings you have given to the world. Ame,"

- Fr.Willy M. Samson,SJ
(St.Joseph Parish, Zamboanga City)

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