Seeing people inside the Church after it’s allowed to open once again (while observing physical distancing) is such a beautiful sight to behold. Maybe some of them are even going there against the wishes of their families. Deciding to go there isn’t a difficult decision for them though because they already know what’s important in their lives. They’re simply risking it because they have found the “Pearl of Great Price”. It’s like when running out of time to finish our prayers, we feel our day isn’t complete unless we’ve fulfilled our promised devotions. It’s like when we’re allowed to go to Church freely once again, we’d be flocking our churches excitedly.
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 13: 44-52 or 13: 44-46), Jesus said to the crowds:
“… 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.”
The Gospel tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fine treasure. There are lots of stories and movies about treasure hunters risking their lives to get hold of a treasure. It is a given that a treasure can make one rich and wealthy. If it isn’t valuable then it isn’t considered a treasure.
The Kingdom of Heaven is hidden. It is something that isn’t easily seen. You have to look for it purposively and you’ll realize it is there waiting for you. Yes, God wants us to discover it!
Finding God may take a lifelong journey for some, while others are given the grace of discovering Him earlier on.While some manage to keep Him, there are those who get clouded by life’s pleasures and lose the priceless treasure sometime in life. Some reject Him because they get frustrated with what’s happening in life despite their prayers. They can’t see beyond the problems and challenges. Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, in his homily today identifies three stages of relating with God:
Pag-unawa or Understanding,
Pagtiwala or Trust, and
Fr. Armand explains,
Understanding happens when things are clear. When there is evidence of something that will happen, and one decides based on that, it is the stage of Trust.However, when despite the feeling that God is not answering your fervent prayers, and yet you still persevere in giving it and risking it all for Him, then that is called Pananaligor Faith. The faithful servant knows that despite why things happen, it is as if God is saying, “I have seen your good side, now I want to see your best side!”
God wants us to find the Kingdom of Heaven and rejoice when we discover it. It is indeed a life-changing experience that leads one to leave everything behind in pursuing the “newly-discovered” treasure.
St. Paul assures us of God’s fidelity in the Second Reading (Rom. 8: 28-30),
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”
Today, let us reflect on whether we have truly discovered the Kingdom of Heaven. Have we been given the grace to be attracted to this treasure such that we are ready to give up everything and risk it all for God?
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit grant us the wisdom to discover this fine pearl each and every single day. May God grant us the courage to keep this treasure fervently in our hearts and resist mightily all obstacles and challenges that may take this gift away from us.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;for you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.” (Mt. 11: 25)