17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is the genuine characteristic of an intelligent person to undergo sacrifices and hardships today so that he or she may have a bright life and much better life tomorrow or in the future.  There is story or a legend about the Greek civilization and culture.  The Greeks gave the highest priority to learning and knowledge as their best ambition in their  life .  A Greek student who aspires to go for higher education has to go through a special procedure.  He or she has to sell all his or her belongings and  property and get money and take the money in a boat and sail in to a sea and throw away all the money in to the bottom of the sea.  The purpose was that the student should not have any attachment to any person or relatives or friends. Similarly the money should not be given to the poor for it may result in some attachments. Hence the student must be fully detached and should have full concentration on learning as the highest goal of life.
The readings of the holy mass similarly invite all of us to seek after the most valuable treasure of our life and it is the life with the Lord or to be in the kingdom of God.  In other words we have to seek the divine treasure in stead of the material treasure and divine knowledge and divine wisdom instead of the human knowledge and human wisdom.

Readings:

First Reading:I Kings: 3/5-12

Here we see King Solomon requesting God for divine wisdom and an understanding heart to distinguish right from the wrong so that he might govern the people properly.

Second Reading:  I Romans: 8/28-30

St. Paul speaks of certain basic principles of Christian spirituality.
1. The principal agent in spiritual life is God Himself and His grace is with us throughout the whole process of salvation. 
2. Divine wisdom is essential to follow the precepts of the Lord.
3. “All things work for good for all those who love God , who are called according to His purpose “

Gospel Message: Matthew 13/44-52

In this Gospel passage St. Matthew gives three parables and these parables are called “Kingdom Parables “.
The parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the precious jewel speak of the same legacy.  We have to do everything and we have to sacrifice everything else in order to reach our supreme goal of life. 
We find so many great people in history who acted wisely in order to attain the supreme treasure.  St. Peter and his friends were amazed at miraculous catching of fish, but they left everything to follow the Lord. 
Zacchaeus  and Levi were great tax collectors,  but they left all their business to follow the Lord.
Francis Assisi, Ignatius Leola , Francis Xavier , Maximillan  Kolbe , Albert Schwitzer and  so many saints in history chose the greatest treasure of their life.  Even in our time we could see so many dedicated men and women leading a very holy life since they know the value of the treasure in their divine wisdom.

The parable of the fishing Net gives us the mission for evangelizing the entire humanity as well as the warning that at end there will be judgment and the good will be rewarded and the unfaithful will be punished.  Therefore we should live every moment of our lives in view of the most precious goal, the most valuable treasure: the Heavenly Kingdom.
In order that His Kingdom may come in to our life we have to let the kingdoms in us go.  The kingdoms in us may be our pride, self justification, arrogance, greed, and so on.

Comments

  • Nancy T BeluePosted on 7/25/20

    Thank you, Fr. Joseph. Having your comments before Mass is most helpful to me in understanding your homily.