Photo by Yohan Cho on Unsplash
I cannot imagine my life without Jesus Christ. He shows me the way things truly are. To a person like me who can easily be negative and judgemental when looking at the world - be nearly filled with confusion, objection and cynicism - I remember the words of the Lord: “And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” Or if I look at myself, how often I wish I could be different, wish I could be more. I can be quickly filled by disappointment, dejection and frustration. But then I remember God’s Word in Saint Paul: “And then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.” Jesus Christ is everything to us, he is indeed the “hidden treasure” and the “pearl of great value.”
This week the Lord gives two parables to describe the kingdom of heaven. In the first, Jesus says that God’s Kingdom is like treasure hidden in a field. Even though most are unable to see it and recognize its value, some do. Thus one goes, sells everything one has and buys the field with the hidden treasure. The second parable is similar. A person finds a “pearl of great value” and likewise, sells everything in order to have it. In both parables, the person who is able to see what other’s seem unable or unwilling to see, experiences a powerful response. They are transformed as persons. Their minds and hearts have been changed. The things that they had once valued, the goals that once drove them have been left behind. These things and goals fail in comparison to the hidden treasure or the pearl. As Psalm 42 says, “My soul thirsts for God, the God of life; when shall I go to see the face of God.” What could be so powerful as to transform a person so completely? It is Jesus Christ.
When we read and hear the Gospel, we are shown the “face of God.” We may not always feel confident in a world marked by a “new normal.” We may not consistently grasp that we are the children of the Father. But in Christ we see and hear the true story, the way things truly are. We see our God empty himself . . . for us. We see our God proclaim his kingdom though “foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” . . . this too is for us. We see our God hanging on a tree . . . for us. We see the Eternal God raised from the dead so that we may always know and have love. If God has done all this for us, then we must be bold in our honesty. Are we not then God’s treasure? Are we not God’s pearl of great value? It is from seeing God’s face in Christ that our lives are delightfully turned upside down. We spend our whole lives seeking peace, relationship, joy and love. The treasure is not hidden from us. He has made our eyes to see and our ears to hear. All that we seek and long for are given to us. We are given God himself. And he is our “treasure hidden in a field.” He is our “pearl of great value.” Jesus Christ is everything to us.
God Bless and Take Care. Fr. John