READING OF THE DAY
First reading from the First Book of Kings
1 KGS 3:5, 7-12
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king
to succeed my father David;
but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.”
Second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to Romans
Brothers and sisters:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER
It is true that the Kingdom of God is offered to all — it is a gift, it is a present, it is a grace — but it does not come on a silver platter: it requires dynamism; it is about searching, journeying, working hard. The attitude of searching is the essential condition for finding. The heart must burn with the desire to reach the valuable good, that is, the Kingdom of God which is made present in the person of Jesus. He is the hidden treasure; he is the pearl of great value. (Angelus, 30 July 2017)
(From Catholic Daily Reflections.com)
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44
Here are three things to reflect upon in regard to this passage: 1) The Kingdom of God is like a “treasure;” 2) It’s hidden, waiting to be found; 3) When discovered, it’s worth giving up everything we have to obtain it.
First, it’s helpful to reflect upon the image of the Kingdom of God being like a treasure. The image of a treasure brings with it various lessons. A treasure is often considered enough to make one rich if found. If it were not of such great value it would not be considered a treasure. Thus, the first lesson we should take is that the value of the Kingdom of God is great. In fact, it’s infinite in value. Yet so many people see it as something undesirable and choose many other “treasures” in its place.
Second, it’s hidden. It’s hidden not in the sense that God does not want us to discover it; rather, it’s hidden in the sense that God does want us to discover it. It’s waiting for us, waiting to be discovered and rejoiced in when found. This also reveals the great excitement one has in making this authentic discovery of the Kingdom of God in our midst.
Third, when someone discovers the riches of the Kingdom of God and the riches of the life of grace, the experience should be so awe-inspiring that there is little hesitancy in making the choice to give everything up so as to obtain that which was found. What joy there is in coming to an awareness of the life of grace and mercy! It’s a discovery that will change one’s life and lead one to abandon all else in pursuit of the new treasure that has been discovered.
Reflect, today, upon your own experience of discovering the Kingdom of God. Have you allowed yourself to be drawn into amazement at the value of this treasure? If so, have you also allowed the discovery of this life of grace to so deeply attract you that you are ready and willing to give up everything to acquire it? Put your eyes upon this gift of infinite value and allow the Lord to direct you in its pursuit.
Lord, I love You and I thank You for the treasure of the Kingdom that You have prepared for me. Help me to make this hidden discovery each and every day in a more complete and awe-inspiring way. As I discover this treasure, give me the courage I need to abandon every other selfish endeavor in life so that I may seek this one and only gift. Jesus, I trust in You.