17th Sunday Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: July 30, 2023
A little while ago I was with a priest friend when we saw news of someone in the States who won one billion dollars in a Lottery. We began to ask each other what would we do if we won a billion dollars. I do not actually buy lottery tickets, but it was interesting to think about what we would do. My priest friend told me that he would pay off our parish debt for the new church! So, pray that he wins such a lottery… Thinking about this forced me to think about what is most important, what really matters, how do we use our time and wealth? How do we discern what matters in a wise way in this life?
We just saw Solomon being offered by God in a dream to ask for anything he would like to be given by God. What would you ask for if you were given that offer by God?
Solomon asks for an understanding mind to discern between good and evil. He was asking for a wise and discerning mind, for wisdom. God is very pleased because Solomon could have asked for several other things instead. A long life, riches, the life of his enemies… But, he chooses wisdom to know how to discern what matters and what is right.
Jesus is continuing to speak to the crowds about the kingdom of heaven. He says it is like a person who finds a treasure in a field and goes and sells everything he has to buy that field with the treasure. It is like the merchant who finds the one pearl of great worth and sold all he had to buy it. What are the true treasures in your life? What is the pearl of great worth in your life? This requires wisdom to discern what really matters, what is worth more than all else you have? Is there something worth dying for?
How do you spend your time, your energy, your wealth? Is it used for what is of enduring worth and value? Are we losing the great treasure of our life, the pearl of great worth in our life because we are focused on things that are temporary and will not endure?
This is a good exercise for all of us to do this week. Like Solomon, imagine God offering to give you anything you ask for. What would you ask for? Is it the pearl of great worth? What does it say about where your treasure is found?