It’s like the worker, overwhelmed with joy, when he found a hidden treasure while digging in a field. It’s like the cable guy, overwhelmed with joy, when he finds a priceless diamond ring, digging through a vacant lot. Before they found it, they only had their day job in mind as they dug, but filled with joy at finding their treasure their only thought was to possess it, and enjoy it; they had to have it! They were determined to do whatever they had to…to buy the abandoned property. It’s all about the joy they experienced, at their finds. Joy is not a place to go to; it’s a state of being. It’s a feeling no one can take away from us. It produces works in us that were not possible before. It makes us want to share ourselves because we’re at peace with everybody. Nothing can interrupt the feeling and it never ends. Jesus says…that’s, what the Kingdom of Heaven, is like. It’s like the feeling we get when we do the will of God, for the love of God. It makes us feel good, liberated, safe and secure; it’s like being citizens of heaven.
Jesus taught us how to pray to the Father, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s Kingdom is doing God’s will. We’ll be filled with overwhelming joy when we discover it was before our eyes all the time…our treasure is hidden in plain view. It’s like the pearl collector that among hundreds found the special pearl unlike any other he had seen. He was overwhelmed with joy and vowed to do what was necessary to buy it. Those of us who love God will do whatever we must, to do his will. To do God’s will is our treasure because of how it empowers us, to live our lives. There are many precious gifts God gives us, but this one…this one is beyond all others. It’s the one thing that most pleases God so that everything else we’re concerned with falls into place. Whether we discover our treasure during our daily chores or whether we have devoted our lives to looking for it doesn’t matter. What matters is that upon recognizing it we do whatever is necessary to live it. God’s desire is to reunite us all in his Kingdom. Jesus says that the Kingdom of heaven is like a net that gathers all kinds of fish.
Those of us that grew up when there were hundreds of shrimp boats off Padre Island remember seeing all kinds of fish in the nets the shrimpers pulled on to their boats. They separated the good from the bad; kept the good and disposed of the bad. That’s what going to happen when we finish our journey, through this world. But, in the meantime, God doesn’t give up on any of us and doesn’t want any of us to make those decisions for him…judging…who belongs in the Church and who doesn’t. The Church is a safe-haven for everyone. Truth is we don’t have any way of knowing what relationship any of us have with God. We have no right to say who’s a “good” Christian and who isn’t. It’s been said, there are many people in the Church that aren’t really with God, and there are many people outside the church that are with God. One of our popular church songs says, “They will know we are Christians by our love”. And, only God knows our love for him. What we do know is, those among us, whoever does the will of God, for love of God, have a good relationship with him and he calls us friends. The ones we least expect are the ones most loved by God. It’s like two warring factions each praying for God’s help. As to whose side God’s on? We’ve come to know Jesus is on the side of the suffering, regardless what side they’re on. Understanding that makes it easier for us to not be too quick to judge each other.
Before we found our treasure, we already possessed our own gifts. Some of us artists or professionals; some with physical, intellectual, spiritual abilities. We all have some distinct gift God has given us. With the joy of finding our new treasure, sincerely wanting to do the will of God, the old gifts take on a new light; a new and wonderful ability to multiply a hundredfold. The challenge is to accept it as the Father’s plan for us to live right here and now; taking care of each other as members of the Mystical Body of Christ…in this…our heaven on earth.
Deacon Al Crixell. 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Mt. 13:44-52. Our Treasure is doing the will of God.