17th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday, Year II

In today’s Gospel Our Lord presents two parables to help us understand what the Kingdom of heaven is like. The first (like a treasure hidden in a field) reminds us that its worth is something that takes us by surprise and is found in the most unexpected of places. Someone hid that treasure and you’ve received the good fortune of finding it. It doesn’t come free, and it doesn’t come cheap: if you’re willing to spend everything on obtaining it, it must be of more value that what you already have. This first comparison teaches us that the Kingdom of heaven should put everything we have, everything we are, into perspective. When we invest ourselves completely the returns will be unimaginable.

In the second comparison we’re reminded that the Kingdom of heaven, like finding a great pearl after a lifetime of smaller ones, is something comparable to all the things we value in this world, but much greater in comparison. The Kingdom of heaven is not going to be something totally different from the “treasures” we hold and experience in this life. When we seek the true, the good, and the beautiful in this life, we are paving the way for the Kingdom, already present in those things, to come to full fruition.

Let’s ask Our Lord to help us evaluate what we treasure in this life and to keep an eye out for the hidden treasure he wishes to reveal to us.

Readings: Jeremiah 15:10, 16–21; Psalm 59:2–4, 10–11, 18; Matthew 13:44–46.