Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Book of Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99:5, 6, 7-9, & Matthew 13:44-46
“Moses Sees the Promised Land From Afar” by James Tissot, circa 1900
At the hour of our death, we face the outlook of leaving it all behind to embrace something radically new. In today's Gospel narrative, Jesus asks His disciples for radical dedication to the Kingdom of God. Today's Book of Exodus reading illustrates how Moses was transformed in his loyal service of God. The mighty servant of God had led his people out of Egypt towards the Promised Land. Now, after being in intimate conversation with God, Moses had such a "sample" of heaven that the skin on his face had become "radiant." The peace, strength, and compassion of God shone from the eyes and face of this great man of God.
As explained in Mathew's Gospel, Jesus relates two short parables of people who find something of great value; one a box of treasure and the other a priceless pearl. Yet, how they make these discoveries is quite different. One finds treasure accidentally while not looking for anything in particular. While he was working for wages and digging in someone else's field, he unexpectedly found buried treasure. In the other case, the merchant actively searched for fine pearls and, eventually, as a result of his persistence, found one pearl of great value which stood out from all the rest.
Both parables are images of the Kingdom of God. Both suggest that our relationship with God is more significant than any earthly treasure. The first parable suggests that this treasure comes to us as grace. Grace can breakthrough when we least expect it. The second parable highlights the importance of searching to know God. The one who seeks will find, and if one knocks, will discover an open door. We can and will be surprised by grace, but also, we are called to seek Him with all our hearts and souls.
Question of the Day: How will you make the "radical" choice of seeking the treasure of God's Kingdom?
Prayer: "Strong is God's love for us; He is faithful forever; come, let us give thanks and praise!" (Psalm 117:2)