Kings 3:5,7-12. Romans 8: 28-30. Matt 13: 44-46
The treasure in the field. Today’s social media show us what the world views as a treasure. Instead of ‘the pearl of great price,’ we hear terms like ‘The jewel in his crown,’ ‘the prize he long sought.’ Using the standards of the world, we can easily think of someone like Donald Trump with his hotels, Mara Lago and now, the Presidency.
Is this what Jesus means by the treasure in the field? Of course not. Tomorrow, July 31, is the Memorial Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola. In his Spiritual Exercises, the meditation on The Two Standards describes the standard (flag or banner) of the world and the standard of Christ. Under what flag or banner do you stand? Pondering this begs the question: “what is of ultimate importance for me?”
What is the treasure in the field for you? Think a moment. For many of you I suspect it’s your family. Is not God the originator of your life and your family, your spouse, children and grandchildren?! Well, in the story Jesus is telling us today, the treasure in the field is God Himself, Christ Himself. He comes to us in Word and Sacrament, in his Body and Blood, soul and divinity. He becomes present here on this altar of sacrifice. We bow before this altar of sacrifice because this treasure becomes present here.
When Pope benedict was talking to young people at World Youth Day, he told them “Look to Christ. He takes nothing away from you, but he gives you everything.” A treasure, no? Once a small boy asked Pope Francis if his dog would be in heaven. Pope Francis told him everything we love will be with us in heaven. A treasure, no? The object of all human longing is Christ Himself. He is the ultimate satisfaction of the human heart, He gives us all we love. He is our treasure.
It is timely, this question. It prompts a taking stock: what do you value above all else? What do we leave behind when we die? Our good deeds, yes, and and our family members, our sons and daughters. Wednesday was the Feast of Saints Joachim and Ann, parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. I call it the feast of grandparents. The first reading that day comes from the Book of Sirach. It speaks of parents and grandparents. “Their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants….Through God’s covenant their family endures, and…their glory will never be blotted out” (Sirach 44: 1, 10-15). The treasure of the family! Yes? . Fisher will he didn’t I don’t know they were on the clays 1 on his burgers would be how they work better all they did was addition no way this is all father is the only thing we as I may go on retreat during a zero that I’d rather go victory rather than told not in a suite at the parish assembly priest assembly and I’d rather not be away was a anywhere in October again I’d like to go back to my seminary for the God is the origin of the family, nourished by Christ Himself.
So we turn to God, the source of ultimate value. The classic work of spiritual reading, The Imitation of Christ says: “Turn to the Lord with your whole heart and leave behind this wretched world…. His glory and beauty are within you, and he delights in dwelling there.” Again, the two standards, God and the world. The kingdom of God is within. The treasure in the field, Christ Himself, lies within, nourished by his Body and Blood.