Sunday July 26, 2020
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In our Gospel today, we have three more parables. First, we have a parable telling us that the kingdom of heaven is a treasure which a person, just happens to find while digging in the field. We might ask ourselves a few questions after reading the parable. What was the person looking for in the first place, and what is the treasure that is found? Why did he bury it again and go to buy the whole field?
The finding is one thing, but buying the whole field becomes the center of the parable’s meaning. No matter what we are searching for, if we keep digging, we will find God. Buying into God a relationship with God, a friendship with God means buying into the whole field including those things we do not understand or want. The person bought the field for what he believed to be treasure and later could have found other things which time revealed to him as perhaps even more a treasure.
Our second parable presents us a merchant who knows what he wants - a pearl - and he finds it and then sells all his other possessions in order to buy the pearl. He is willing to let go of everything just to possess this pearl. In other words, the kingdom of heaven, our relationship with God, requires a letting go or selling off of what we think are the importance of “pearls” of life for the great pearl of allowing God to be the center of our life.
The Gospel ends, with Jesus asking if the disciples, if we, understand these teachings, even the last parable about the net’s catching all kinds of good and less good fish. The disciples say that they do, but do we? Perhaps like the disciples we do for the moment, but will we learn the deeper meaning as we journey through life in relationship with God?
Jesus tells the disciples and us that like a good storekeeper, brings out the good of the old and the good of the new. Jesus does not want his disciples and us to let go of the past but wants the disciples and us to build on what has gone before us in order to find what is new and lifegiving.
So, the challenge of our third parable is where do we fall? Are we “good” or “bad”? Do we get placed in the heavenly “bucket” or thrown into the fiery ocean and grind our teeth for eternity? Jesus’ words are the net, but who are the bad? Can anything be bad that God made? Parables are meant to help us ask questions and try to come up with answers based on the call of Jesus to be our friend, our teacher, our priceless pearl, our treasure, and our bucket.
Have a blessed, holy, safe, and healthy Sunday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart!