Share the Wealth
(17th Ordinary Sunday: 1 Kings 3:5-12; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52)
When we say we love something—a favorite food or sport or music—it is simply a way of saying we take special delight in it.
It is not quite the same, however, when, in today’s Psalm, we say to the Lord, “I love your command more than gold, however fine.” How is this different? The answer lies in the possessive ‘your.’ The psalmist is not a lawyer who loves working out all the intricacies (and finding the loopholes) in the Law. The context here is his prayer, addressed to the God whom he loves.
In the Gospel, the first two parables make the point that the kingdom of heaven is of such surpassing value, that one should be willing “to sell all that he has” in order to acquire it.
There is, however, an important difference between the treasure buried in the field and the kingdom of heaven. In the first case, the person who finds the treasure presumably keeps it to himself, or uses it to get even richer.
But when it comes to the kingdom, whoever has acquired it and loves it, is drawn to share it.
The Bible is a veritable treasure-trove given to us by God. Do we love it? It provides a wealth of Wisdom, Knowledge, Commands and Precepts to lead us wisely. Do we love them? Along with all this, we have the Sacraments. Do we love these pearls of great price, held in possession by the Community of Believers?
These weekly reflections are dedicated to those who love La Salette. Here, too, it is first and foremost our love for a certain Beautiful Lady, whom we call our Weeping Mother, and who came to remind us of the treasures that the Lord has placed at our disposal.
In the long version of today’s Gospel, Jesus asks, “Do you understand all these things?” It would be wonderful if we, like his disciples, could answer, “Yes.” We don’t need to be theologians and Scripture scholars. The psalmist reminds us: “The revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple.”
As with the kingdom of heaven, La Salette is not something we keep to ourselves. We are charged to make the message known to all her people.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.