“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.” (Matthew 13:44-46)
Ever notice that even when you are feeling good about life there is always just a twinge more on your heart that seems to be looking for more?
In reality, each of us, is not seeking material possessions. Instead, our inner self longs to know unconditional love and true goodness. We need that to counter the evils of the world.
That is when we need to focus on the greatest treasure we have.
In him, God has come to give himself to us.
He has given us our lives, our minds, our abilities, our families and friends. God has already given us his Son and the promise of eternal life. But God wants more. God wants to possess us as his own.
We are the ones who usually pass on this opportunity. We believe in God, and we know that all good things come from God. Yet we pray, “God, thank you for all that I have received—for my life, for my job, for my family and friends—but could you please remain a giver from afar? Why do you have to come so close? I am not really ready to be all in. Can’t I just live a moral life and go to church on the weekends? I love you, and I will praise you. But I really don’t want to be your possession.”
Yet despite all of our protests that we are too busy, that we are too fearful, that we are too sinful, God keeps coming. God keeps searching for an opportunity to catch our imagination, to break our routine, to open our hearts so that he can have us. No effort is too great, no distance is too far to keep God from coming, always hoping that we will be willing to go deeper, that we will be willing to hand ourselves over. Then we would see what satisfaction there is in following the gospel, how much sense it makes to forgive our enemies, what energy we would have to work for justice, and what joy would be ours to be God’s own.
In Jesus Christ we have experienced the overwhelming faithfulness of God’s love for us. In his mercy we discover that our life has infinite value in the Father’s eyes. In his teachings we discover the wisdom to build our life on solid ground. In his grace we receive the strength to grow in love and holiness.
This is where we can build a true future. This is where we can live up to our calling to greatness. Now don’t scoff at “our calling to greatness.” Because it is true. It is part of his plan for us. No matter who we are, there is a direction waiting for us. That direction is to be the best that we can be at whatever we do. Being the best that we can be also entails living our life as a beacon of Christ’s love. To a point that others notice it and are blessed by our daily actions.
Unpacking this gift is the continual work of our spiritual life. We need to cooperate with Christ’s grace in order to truly possess this treasure. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to become part of our life. We need to stop each day and listen to the Holy Spirit moving us, reminding us, guiding us.
The cultivation of faith, hope and charity helps us discover and live this treasure more fully each day. Our sacrifices and renunciations done to put on the new person help us dig this treasure out of the earthy make-up of our lives. Living generous charity helps us make this treasure truly last and enrich our lives.
We can always say no. We can always resist this deeper relationship. But God does not give up. What God values determines the search, and to God we are not a small piece of plastic. We are a pearl of great price. He wants us to be his. In the end it is both sensible and wise to give in.
In fact, it is our salvation to let ourselves be found.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, you have made me for yourself, and my heart is restless until I rest in you. I want to encounter you more deeply today so that you can be my treasure. Thank you for the gift of this new day. I know you love me. I wish to discover your love more deeply and give it to others.”
God constantly gives us the chance in life to choose him as our treasure, to value him more than we value the good things of life, to esteem him even more than we value our own life. And so, we have to persevere in choosing the treasure of the kingdom and not give in to the temptation to trade it for something fleeting and far less valuable.