Treasure without price and wholly gladdening
In Jesus Christ is hidden the priceless treasure that can make us wholly happy. In him begins and ends, therefore, the search for the true treasure.
Jesus starts his public ministry by announcing that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He points out in some way that the Kingdom is a treasure on par, at least, with other treasures.
That is because, in the first place, people conform generally, as a matter of course, to the Kingdom. But Jesus challenges them specifically to turn away from the common path to follow a new one.
That is to say, those who seek to belong to the kingdom of God have to repent. They must exchange, for the way of Jesus, the way that promises worldly treasure. It ought not matter to them that the world thinks that his way leads to uncertainty.
In the second place, there is also a hint that the value of the Kingdom is not below that of any other good thing. For, indeed, to say Kingdom is to say Gospel, the Good News that in concrete means cures.
And the Good News has to spread. So, Jesus calls for followers.
In the third place, Jesus does not want us to ignore the treasure that is above all other treasures.
The Sermon on the Mount clearly puts forth a different value scale. The blessed are no longer those whom the world praises but rather those it scorns. True treasure does not refer any more to what is perishable but to what lasts forever.
That is why Jesus asks us not to worry about things that leave the pagans and the worldly without sleep. After all, true disciples do not put any value ahead of the supreme value of the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
The childlike happily strive, then, to hold on to the priceless treasure or pearl that God shows them through Jesus. The mysteries of the Kingdom mean more to them than long life, wealth or mastery over all. Furthermore, they are sure that every good thing will be theirs in due time. They know quite well, yes, that all things work for good for those who love God.
Lord Jesus, grant that, like your mother, we treasure the mysteries of the Kingdom. Make us care more about furthering the Kingdom of God than our possessions (SV.EN III:527). Count us one day among those who take part in the royal banquet that we have foretaste of in the Eucharist.
30 July 2017
17th Sunday in O.T. (A)
1 Kgs 3, 5. 7-12; Rom 8, 28-30; Mt 13, 44-52