7/30/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 13:44-52
Jesus said to his disciples:
44 “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.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.
46 When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
48 When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.
49 Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
51 “Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.”
52 And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
7/30/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 13:44-52
In the gospel passage above, we read the three kingdom parables, namely: the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price, and the fishing net. They all speak of the truth that the Kingdom of God is the only thing that matters in life. One has to prioritize it. All other things is secondary. Take note of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price. Everything has to be given up in exchange for it. On the other hand, the fishing net parable tells us that in the end, only what is good is kept. The rest is thrown away and burn.
Yet the Kingdom of God is not just about the “end”. Although we know that the greatest promise of Jesus is eternal life, it doesn’t mean we can’t experience the Kingdom of God in the here and now. In fact, Jesus Himself said that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 4:17). We can start to be part of it today. Jesus has already inaugurated it though it will have its full blossoming when He comes back.
So what is the Kingdom of God that we need to sacrifice everything for it? It is simply allowing God to be who is He is – the King of kings and the Lord of lords. That means, allowing Him, not any other being, to take control of our life and of the world. In other words, it is God whom we should love and follow, not the evil one. Therefore, when we say that we should make the Kingdom of God our priority, we need to obey the greatest commandments which is to love God with ALL our heart, with ALL our mind, with ALL our soul, and with ALL our strengths (Matthew 22:28). The word ALL is in caps purposely to emphasize the primacy of the “Kingdom of God” as the greatest treasure.
Then Jesus asks us, “Do you understand all these things?”. If we say yes, then it is time to alter our priorities. It is time to focus on our relationship with God. However, if we have more time in bars and in shopping centers than at church; if we spend more money to buy expensive bags and shoes than helping the needy, if watching a horror movie or reading a fiction is more important than opening the bible, then it means the Kingdom of God is not our priority. If we continue to be thrilled or enamored with worldly things and neglecting even to pray then it means we really did not understand the value of the Kingdom of God.