August 1, 2018
by Mark Latta
Creighton University's School of Dentistry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saint Alphonsus Liguouri, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 403

Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
Matthew 13:44-46
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Enjoying Vacation Time

Jesus, the founder of our faith, offers comforting words to the distressed. His death provided forgiveness for our sins. The gentle embraces and love actions of our savior are a salve to our often confused and conflicted hearts and souls. Jesus however also brings a much more direct and pointed message that is in one way highlighted in today’s Gospel. By focusing only the gentle love inherent in the message of Jesus, we must not lose His radical call for discipleship.  We are called to serve Jesus as our personal King and to give our all to obtain the Kingdom.

In the first parable of the buried treasure, two key points are to be noted. The phrase “out of joy” suggests the kind of emotion that seizes a person and penetrates their entire inner being. The second phrase “sells all he can and buys that field” is a response to that emotion. All else seems valueless and no price is too great to pay. The second Parable of the Pearl has a message similar to the Parable of the Hidden Treasure; when one finds the ultimate pearl, you will spare nothing to make it your own.

These lessons are not to suggest that we can buy salvation at all. More precisely they point out the incomparable value of salvation that far surpasses what any person could use to acquire it. These parables are a call, indeed an admonition to seek and desire the Kingdom above all else. The emphasis should be not on what we can give up but on the depth of the new life being offered to us. Seeking the Kingdom does ask for us to be intentional in our serve to Jesus. These Parables might seem deceptively simple but they call for no compromises. The search for Jesus and the service of Him is the pearl of great price and the treasure worth more than anyone can possess. We are called to show that priority through our life in every act, every decision we take


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