SUNDAY 30 July 2017, 17th Sunday Ordinary Time
• 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 • Psalm 119 • Romans 8:28-30 • + Matthew 13:44-52 •
Title: Flip this Field of Treasure?
[__01__] Would you I sell all that we have, in order to own (buy, purchase) a piece of land? A piece of property?
Isn’t this one way to read or apply the lesson of the Gospel parable: “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.” (Matthew 13:44)
So, the person sells all that he has to buy the field. But, is this really a parable of property acquisition, of financing and, so to say, flipping?
We are not being called by our Savior to flip this field of treasure.
[__02__] Certainly, many of us have perhaps, put all of our savings, or a great percentage of our assets into the purchase of a home.
And, this is logical, rational.
But, consider this: would you sell all that you have, buy the field, and then come home and tell your spouse and family that you bought a field, because there was buried treasure?
And, by the way, in the parable, the buyer does not go on to sell the treasure and gain a return on investment. He loves the treasure so much that he holds on to it.
The parable is, then, not so much about REAL ESTATE but rather about a RELATIONSHIP and our RELATIONSHIPS.
[__03__] Several years ago, the father of my college classmate suffered some serious health issues and trauma. This left him, in his later years, paralyzed and unable to walk.
At this time, I had known him for 8 years. However, at this point, I was now 26 and 4 years out college. We were no longer in daily and regular contact.
However, I recall many great times. I had been to his home - my classmate’s home - several times. During those college years, he treated me as part of his family, as a son.
I knew this, I experienced this. This relationship was buried treasure to me.
[__04__] At the time of his illness and decline, we were not in regular touch or contact.
I was working and travelling. My classmate - his son - had just graduated from medical school and was doing his residency. So, I was not so conscious of the treasure.
When I heard that he was very ill, I was also sad. But, I was not - at the time - moved enough to go and visit him.
Knowing that he was now paralyzed and unable to walk, I was reluctant … scared.
It is an ironic reminder to me that this friend of mine spent the first few months of his treatment and hospital stay at Kessler Rehabilitation Center on Pleasant Valley Way.
[__05__] I think of him when I visit there. There was buried treasure in that hospital.
I believe that I will see him and discover the buried treasure again, on the way to a different and much more pleasant valley.
[__06__] What is the buried treasure to you and to me?
Perhaps, it is a relationship or friendship with someone whom others scorn or spurn.
Perhaps, it is a task or project that brings us satisfaction and fulfillment though without any material reward.
Perhaps, the buried treasure is an act of kindness that only you and God know about. Maybe the buried treasure if your or my forgiveness of a past injury or hurt.
This buried treasure may require us to sell all that we have.
To sell or abandon our fear.
To abandon our resentment or anger. Sometimes, these seem to have great reward or value.
To sell all that we have to find the plan God has for us.
“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.” (Matthew 13:44)