17 Ordinary Time
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - A Cycle - Matthew 13:44-52 or 13:44-46
An old Irish woman was so poor that the parish had to bankroll her. Her son had gone to America and become rich. Her pastor asked, "Mrs O'Leary, do you hear from Bob?" She told the priest, "Bob writes weekly and encloses a picture." "Have you saved them?", asked the priest. "Certainly," said she, "they're in my Bible." The pastor found it stuffed with fifty pictures of Ben Franklin resting comfortably on US $100 bills. (Arthur Tonne)
The problem with treasures, heavenly and otherwise, is they stare us in the face so long before we pick them up. Sometimes unhappily we never do. How disappointed Jesus must be.
The concept of the Kingdom of God seems to be forever before Christ. Jesus refers to the Kingdom in the Gospels about 150 times. In today's brief passage, there are four references.
What does the Kingdom of God mean? What would it be for us right here and now? The Kingdom of God is the good life for all people in the present moment. (Joseph Donders)
In the Kingdom of God here, Christ wants life to be a sunny beach with no jelly fish in the ocean for us all.
How does Jesus feel that 1.2 billion people in the world exist on $1 a day? What does He say when He learns that the share of the US's income, earned by the very wealthiest, has doubled since 1980 while the share of the income earned by the bottom 90% has fallen?
Jesus is identified with life. He was obsessed with life. When He met a deaf fellow, He shouted, "Stop being deaf. You must listen to Mozart." When He met a blind person, He said, "Cease being blind. How will you enjoy Matisse?" When He found a paralyzed man, He said, "Be lame no more. I want you to travel to Argentina and learn the tango." When He met the mute man, He shouted, "Let your tongue be untied. There are too many funny stories to tell." When He met the dead boy from Nain, the dead girl in Jairus' home, His dead friend Lazarus, He said, "Don't remain dead. You haven't seen Paris yet."
The Teacher restored life, tuned it up, and polished it. He gave His people a money back guarantee on life.
Even Jesus could only take death three days. He found it dullsville. So, He broke out of the tomb like the Superman He is. He returned to life humming Beethoven's Ninth. He never allowed Himself to die again. He put the incident behind Him like a bad dream. He kept insisting, "I am life." He never said, I am death."
Christ came not to rob life but enrich it. Life for us and for those whom we touch should be treasure time from the strong coffee in the AM to the scrubbing of teeth in the PM.
In today's Gospel, the man who found treasure seized the moment for a fresh life when it came. He was willing to gamble with the new cards dealt to him. So must we. Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide. (James Lowell)
A famous actress was chided for taking so long to find Christ. She replied, "It doesn't matter if you're a late bloomer as long as you don't miss the flower show." She reminded her friends that a catfish cannot become a swordfish, but we can leave our miserable selves behind, even when old, and become 24 karat.
God loves us just the way we are, but He refuses to leave us that way. He wants us to become just like Him. He wants us to become treasures. (Max Lucado)
What one sentence do you want chiseled on your tombstone to describe your character? Decide. Then go for that virtue.
Will we go for the gold or stay as unattractive as we are? We say mediocrity is only human. But do we Christians have to be only human? Jesus says no.
Here are some helpful hints how to establish the Kingdom of God around you. "Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody."
Regarding sharing the Kingdom of God with yourself. "Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Learn and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and work every day some. Be aware of wonder." (Robert Fulgrum)
The Kingdom of God on earth then is a verb more than a noun.
Be a spiritual and material treasure for others today, and don't YOU miss the flower show.