Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life...If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.” - St. Teresa of Avila
(Gospel text: 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."
When we read this parable, we usually think of ourselves as the merchant in search of treasure. And we read it with a hint of self-condemnation. Am I really seeking the kingdom with all my heart? Am I willing to sell everything I have in order to obtain it? Answering these questions, we often find ourselves coming up short and as a consequence, we feel unworthy of so great a treasure.
But did you know there’s another way to read this parable? This interpretation turns the tables on our traditional way of thinking, for it sees God as the merchant, and each of us as the treasure. It tells us how dedicated our heavenly Father is to winning our hearts. It tells us that he longs for us and will stop at nothing to find us and possess us as his very own.
Relentless in his pursuit of us, God woos us tirelessly. He speaks to us in a thousand different ways, trying to capture our attention and our imagination. He even went so far as to send his own Son, who sacrificed his life in order to obtain us as his treasure. It was a costly sacrifice indeed, but this only shows how valuable we are to him.
In case you ever doubt your self-worth, here is proof positive: You are the pearl of great price. You are God’s highest treasure. He has searched far and wide for you, and he was overjoyed when he finally found you. You may have been covered with a little dirt when he first dug you up, but that didn’t matter to him. He saw the beauty and glory inside of you, and he is committed to cleaning and polishing you until you glow with the radiance of his life.
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