17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Homily)
Today’s first reading from the 1st Book of Kings, God appeared to Solomon in a dream, “Ask what you would like Me to give you,” (1 Kgs 3: 5). Solomon said that “I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership,” (v, 7) and he asked God “an understanding mind,” – wisdom “to discern what is good and evil,” and to govern God’s people. Solomon didn’t ask for a long life or riches beyond imagination, but simply only wisdom. God rewarded Solomon with the gift of wisdom, making him the wisest person that ever lived.
God is willing to grant us any wish, like how He granted to Solomon. Most of the time we ask for long life or riches or many other worldly things. First and foremost we must wise up to ask Him what we want in our lives. We must ask God for wisdom to know His ways and the desire to do His will, and to discern what is good and what is bad like Solomon. Very often we have a tendency to choose the wrong things. That is why we need wisdom to discern His will and to choose good always.
In today’s Gospel (Mt 13: 44-52), we see the first two parables giving us the same lesson. Both persons had discovered “treasure hidden in a field” and “fine pearls” and they had decided to sell everything in order to purchase them.
Just before joining the seminary, I was doing quite well in my life, but I felt that there was something lacking in me, still. I was searching for it, that special something, so that I could treasure it my whole life. In the search, the desire to become a priest became irresistible. After almost four years of discerning I had decided to join the seminary, with the initial reluctance. Finally, I decided to let go, starting with some of my possessions, my job, and finally my family. My 8 years discernment and studies, was finally that something for me. To choose Priesthood became that treasure for me.
So, in relation to today’s Gospel, becoming a priest is the gift that God has given me, liken to that “treasure hidden in a field” founded by someone, and “the pearl of great value” was found by a merchant. Yes, Priesthood is my treasure and I treasure it till now and I pray to keep this treasure till the end of my life. Jesus is my “treasure” and He is my “fine pearl”. His Church is my treasure. His people are my treasure. This gives me joy, every day and I pray for the gifts of wisdom and understanding to discover and rediscover Jesus as my treasure, always.
When you have your spiritual longing and searching for spiritual truth, just spend your lives pursuing God. I am sure one day you will find the deepest longings of your heart and all other things will fade away becoming secondary. You will find joy and satisfaction on what exactly you were looking for in your lives.
This treasure is just “hidden” in you and you may just walk by it every day. Once you find it and you will realise the value of the treasure, that will be your ultimate goal.
We are called to imitate the two great men in the Gospel today, who surrender all their earthly possessions in order to inherit the eternal life. In this shortness of life, just discern about the value of the Kingdom of God and what is pleasing to God. Do good and cease evil and your life is definitely going to be purposeful. In all things that you do, place your trust in Jesus and surrender to Him.
St. Joachim and St. Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pray for us!
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy
Church of St. Joseph, Sentul, KL
26 July 2020