Beads of Joy 07-28-10
It'll Cost Everything You Have
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
What a truly precious week of parables this has been. This yet another day where we have a very short reading, but these simple three verses scripture today has two very incredible parables embedded in it. Today let us take a moment and look at Matthew 13:44-46 (The Parable of the Treasure and the Field / The Parable of the Merchantman and the Pearl). Both of these parables run on the same theme: giving up ALL we have, to attain the treasure, the pearl. I can't resist, I'll just share today's reading in full, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it." I just love scripture, seeing it, reading it, typing it. It's scripture, that's just another Joy that is in my life, just at a mere glance to see it, my heart fills with so much Joy and I admit excitement. You can see how in this parable we are given some tremendous insight into the heart of God and how we might obtain the treasure and pearl in Him.
The greatest thing these two parables teach is the magnificent value on the Kingdom of God. The treasure to me is showing us a box full of eternally valuable items (like the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Cross, the holy scriptures, the lives of the saints, our churches, our community, the fellowship we share, and so much more). This box, a treasure of sorts, holds a variety of magnificent gifts, a price can not be put on it, its value individually exceed all the riches in the universe. In the parable the man can't afford to purchase the treasure so instead he buys the land, and what does he buy it with? All that he has. And what it is that is all that we have? How about our lives. We surrender our lives to Jesus to be of service to Him, not only to worship Him, but to also draw others to Him. Now do you see why I get so excited about the parables. And what about the second parable speaking about the pearl? This merchant found just one pearl, one measly round pearl, and in his desire to own this one pearl, (at the time this was written, pearls meant great wealth) Obviously for great wealth, there would indeed be a great price to pay to attain it. I see the pearl as (our relationship with Jesus - knowing that Jesus is real, or the blood He shed for us). And the great price again is our lives to be spent loving and worshiping Him.
Let's us reflect on a scripture that shadows these thoughts. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21. Our treasures are close to our hearts. "They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" Luke 24:32. Jesus' identity was not recognized by the men walking with Him, but after they had heard scripture from Him, there hearts were burning with joy. What do we seek in Jesus? What do we expect to get when we have Him in our lives? What do we really think the cost of having our faith is? So many questions can come from today's scripture. So what do you seek in Jesus? Compassion, forgiveness, Heaven, a love that never judges, His words, scripture. That's a great start, but we know there is so much more. Our relationship with Him, to me is what I was seeking. I wanted Him to be sincerely a very real part of my life. And that is exactly what He is. Now that we have that relationship, what do we expect from Him in it? Hopefully nothing from Him, He loved us before we were even born, He knew us in the womb, He died for us. Jesus already paid the price for us. So then what about the "cost" on our end, that I was talking about?
Jesus is the treasure we seek. He is the pearl we want. And in of surrendering of our lives and living our lives through Him that will draw us closer to Him. Jesus died for us, so that we might live; we in turn must die to our own selfish ways and sinfulness so that we can live the way He died for us to live. Did that make sense? Somehow in my jam packed brain of scripture and Catechism, all those thoughts looped together. LOL. I want you to think about these few questions: How many people put everything on the line, extend themselves and almost sell their souls to get their first home? How many do that to buy a new car? We are willing to work extra jobs, give the Realtor or dealership literally every single cent we have; so we can have that which we desire so deeply. I know I am not exaggerating. Been there, done that. And what do we do it for? The cost and maintenance and upkeep of a house. Or the cost maintenance and upkeep of a car. Inevitable we ADD burdens to our lives, yes a new car is reliable, as long as we keep it maintained. And yes a new or used home is splendid, but I need not tell most of you, ALL that is entailed in owning a home. That is why JESUS is the greatest treasure, the most precious pearl. Nothing can be compared to Him, and truly nothing we have can purchase Him; except for our lives, our thoughts, our goals and our love. Are you unsure of taking a HUGE leap of faith and put Him first and foremost and give everything you have, to have Him? If you are not sure, but you do love Him. Pray this simple prayer, "Jesus, I trust in You. Please guide my heart to seek you out and surrender all that I have so that I may have You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO