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Parables of the Kingdom

Gospel Reading: Mt 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples, “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, 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.”

These two parables are similar in the sense that, in them, someone discovers something of precious and compelling value – a hidden treasure in one and a magnificent pearl in the other – and sells everything he has in order to possess it. The point, of course, for both parables is that the Kingdom is like this. When people truly encounter it and realize what it is, it enters their hearts, seizes their imaginations, and overwhelms them with its precious value.

No price is too great; nothing they own can rival its value. But there the similarities between the two parables end. In the first parable, the someone – probably a poor man – is not looking for a treasure. The treasure is a surprise. In the second parable, however, the pearl merchant is a seeker, a wealthy merchant in search of one of the ancient world’s most valued objects – fine pearls.

So it is with the Kingdom of heaven. Some people seek it. But others are not on a quest at all. But then, something wonderful and surprising happens. All at once, God seems near, and everything pales before this new and breathtakingly priceless truth.

However God is experienced, whenever it occurs, it is the event of a lifetime. Let us always be open to God’s surprises!

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.