Our True Treasures

07-26-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Who or what would we do anything for? While we dream about winning the lottery and having abundant cash at our fingertips, we know deep down in our hearts it is the people we would share it with, not just a resource for any and every whim and desire. But we don’t need financial security to have a treasure. In today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:44- 52), Jesus tells the parable of the man who finds a buried treasure in a field and sells everything he has to acquire it. We are who we are because of the gift of life. When we were born, we were embraced as a treasure by our parents. As time passes, we come to see what a treasure our parents are to us. One of the great joys of being a priest is celebrating Baptisms and seeing the joy in the parents and all present with them.

As we grow and mature we come to see that we not only have people who are a treasure in our lives, we also see we are a treasure. Not only are we treasures to one another, we are a treasure to God. That is why Jesus came into our world and into our lives. He made the ultimate sacrifice in giving His life for us on the cross. The fruit and life of that sacrifice fills us with His hopeful presence, love, and Spirit.

In the first reading for Mass today (1 Kings 3:5, 7-12), we see God appearing to King Solomon telling him to ask for whatever he wants. Solomon’s response shows His treasure lies not in his power, position, or material wealth, but in God’s wisdom: "Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” Seeking the treasure of God’s wisdom made Solomon a treasure to His people.

How good it is to humbly recognize the love and goodness of God in our lives. All life is a gift from God. To live our lives every day with this belief opens our minds and hearts to the treasure our faith is, the treasure of the people in our lives are, and the treasure we are to God and one another. When we recognize the treasure we are to God, we can more easily recognize how we and everyone else are also treasures to Him. That is the road to inner and outer peace.

I conclude with this passage from James 3:13-18:

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.