Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mt 13:44-52 Out of Joy

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to his disciples: "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."

Deja vu.  Christ is the master of life, death and even parables.  Today's Gospel passage reminds us an encounter he had with a rich young man:  "Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor, then come follow me."   It also reminds us of an interesting conversation He had with His Heavenly Father:  You have hidden [the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven] from the wise and prudent and revealed them to the child-like (cf Mt 11:25).

So what is my treasure?  What am I looking for in life? 

Recently, I came across this saying:  "The meaning of life is to give life meaning."  Oh, there is nothing more sentimental and useless than a circular argument.  How can I give meaning to life if I don't know the meaning of life?  Today, the Lord is challenging His followers to dig deeper.  To not simply scratch the surface (I don't hurt anyone) but to take a shovel and seriously start digging.   

But let's not forget.  It's not only important to start digging but to dig in the right place.  Otherwise, I could spend my entire life searching and searching and only coming up empty and filthy!

Is it possible that no one has discovered or revealed the meaning of life?

Christ.  He is the treasure.  He is the meaning of life.  He is the treasure that is worth digging for, sacrificing for and even dying for.  He is the God that hides behind the man; or better, the God that reveals man.  Today's parable was directed towards Himself and His Apostles.  In me you will find yourselves and God.   

It's totally understandable that, at first, this Truth was not easily accepted.  But with time, and plenty of digging, the Apostles came upon this treasure and it changed their lives and the course of human history. 

Faith.  Faith is a treasure that is often found in barren lands, like silence, loneliness and sickness.  I have always found it amazing where faith can grow! 

Faith in Christ can change everything about us: our focus, our goals, our character, our habits, our lives.  Without a doubt, it is the greatest treasure we could ever possess on earth.  With it, I can get through the toughest moments in my life.  Without it, I can easily find myself in a vicious circle of violence, resentment, anger and revenge.  With it, it can direct my life in service towards others.  Without it, it can easily turn all my attention towards myself. 

Faith in God is a treasure buried deep within us.  To go deeper into it is not limited to studying it more, but experimenting with it more and, hence, experiencing it more.  To do so requires losing oneself and searching for someone else; that is, living like Christ in order to discover Christ.

The fact that faith is buried deep within us simply means it can only be found through prayer and work.  It's time to get rid of the rake and take a sledgehammer and break through the stones and other obstacles that separate me from God.  One such sledgehammer is known as Baptism; another, as Confession.

Let's all start digging.

Soul.   The soul is another treasure just waiting to be found buried underneath a tough layer of skin!  It might not look like it from the surface, but we were all made to love and be loved. We know it, but do others?  We can see it, but can others? 

There is a child of God in us that is just waiting to come out of us!  Poor Solomon.  He asked for wisdom instead of holiness.  What a mistake.  What an unwise decision.  He should have asked for holiness.  Ask for holiness!  What a mistake.  Whereas one could go wrong with wisdom, how can anyone go wrong with holiness?  Wisdom can easily be self-serving, whereas holiness can only be self-giving. 

Out of Joy.  How can I find joy in my life?  Start digging.  Faith is the tool that get's us digging and Christ is the key that unlocks the treasure that is my soul. 


  1. "He asked for wisdom instead of holiness. What a mistake. What an unwise decision. He should have asked for holiness. Ask for holiness! What a mistake. Whereas one could go wrong with wisdom, how can anyone go wrong with holiness? Wisdom can easily be self-serving, whereas holiness can only be self-giving."

    Father Alfonse:

    I have to respectfully disagree with you. I heard an excellent homily today where the priest outlined the following: He said that Solomon's prayer was a model humble petitionary prayer. Solomon was a mere youth and he could have asked for anything: riches, power, prestige, victory in battle, etc. Instead, he asked for an understanding heart and the ability to judge right from wrong. Solomon recognized an important spiritual truth--that is, without a proper relationship with God, he would not know what to do with the riches, power, etc. We see this in the tabloids all the time--young starlets that don't know what to do with their money and blow it all. I believe that the ability to differentiate right from wrong is a quintessential key to holiness. How can we, as you say, be Alter Christus, without it?

  2. Excellent points. Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. So, I can't argue with you on that. But do you remember how Solomon ended?

    During his reign the Kingdom of Israel came to an end. His children were a disaster. He overspent his resources and outdid himself on wives.

    What the priest said may have fit well with today's first reading. It doesn't fit in well with the rest of the story, nor with Christ's advice: "You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to the children."

    If I had the chance to ask the Lord for anything, I would hope I would ask for holiness. I believe there's a lot of wisdom in that.

    1. True. It didn't end well for Solomon.

      I think the wisdom the priest was talking about was not just the wisdom to differentiate between right and wrong but the wisdom to have a proper relationship with God. The priest quoted St. Thomas' discourse with God from his cell in Naples. When asked what he would have as a reward, Aquinas could have asked for anything, but he responded that "I will have nothing but you Lord." Isn't this what Solomon asked for?

      The priest dovetailed it nicely into the second reading and Gospel as well. In the second reading, Romans 8, " All things work for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. " If you have found the love of God and have a proper relationship with God, you will have the wisdom (Solomon) to see how all things, good and bad, work together for the God.

      Lastly, he drew in the gospel parables. If you have wisdom, you will be willing to eschew all the material things of the world to find the treasure, the pearl, the right relationship with God. When we find the right relationship with God, we should be willing to go to the ends of the earth and the bottom of the sea to give everything up for Him. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but to lose his soul." Solomon may have made some bad choices, but I think he was asking for the right thing.

    2. What could possibly be better than being wise? Being holy.

      You can never go wrong by asking for holiness. You can obviously go wrong by asking for wisdom.

      What the priest said was nice. But it doesn't take away from what Christ said: "You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to the children."

    3. Let's leave it at this--if you are holy, you are wise.

    4. I have never heard this expression: "If you are holy, you are wise."

      Christ never said if you are holy, you are wise. What he did say Fr. repeated "You have hidden these things from the wise...

      That makes more sense to me. Sorry.

  3. Ask and you shall receive. :)


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