Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 30, 2023
Are you a collector? I’ve collected stamps from childhood, although I’ve never had enough money to do it seriously. And I love books, and have a few small collections of titles by certain authors or on certain subjects. My Franciscan vow of poverty makes it difficult to have the kind of intense zeal for either of those two kinds of collecting–or any other–that matches the kind of intensity described by Jesus in today’s Gospel.
There our Lord gives us two parables of the Kingdom: Someone who finds a treasure in a field, and sells all that he has to obtain the field–and the treasure; and a merchant searching for fine pearls, who finds the legendary pearl of great price and–like the first discoverer– sells all that he has to buy the pearl.
I must confess that it isn’t lack of money that usually keeps me from being as intense about the Kingdom of God as Jesus proposes. Rather, it’s my humanness–sin, fear, self-doubt, laziness, distraction by other goals and treasures of a lesser value–all the substitutes I allow to preoccupy my efforts, when I should be as intense about the kingdom as the two characters in today’s Gospel parables. How about you? What’s distracting you from the Kingdom? Let’s pray together for the conversion we need to give it our all!