Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52)
Knowing We are Treasured by God
Out of joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
Have you ever noticed how much effort some people put into identifying themselves with certain groups? From social clubs to frequent-flyer programs, from parish committees to social networks, we are all looking for some sense of belonging. But the problem is, for every group that has welcomed you, there are even more that won’t. This is why the gospel truly is good news: Jesus welcomes everyone, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, slave and free. He has established a group where no one ever has to be turned away.
We often read the first two parables in today’s Gospel as accounts of a person’s joy at discovering the kingdom of God. But we can also read them as pictures of God’s joy at “discovering.” With great joy, God sacrificed his greatest treasure, his Son, in order to bring us to himself. Such a high price shows us how deeply he wants us to belong to him.
God doesn’t let us into his kingdom reluctantly. Believe it or not, you are a treasure to him! This can be hard to believe sometimes because it’s not the way we usually look at ourselves. But you really are like treasure hidden in a field, out of view, not recognized. It’s only when God’s kingdom is revealed that you will be fully unveiled—but even now, God sees the beauty in you, and he rejoices in it.
This passage isn’t just about us. It’s about every single person God ever created. He paid the exact same price for each of them, from the greatest saint to the worst sinner. No one is excluded; no one is rejected; no one is barred. That treasure hidden in a field? It has a wide variety of gemstones and precious metals in it. Not all of them shine as brightly—at least not now. But each one is of immeasurable value to our Father. You are, and so are the people who are very different from you.
“Father, thank you for giving everything to bring me into your kingdom.”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the Mass readings and prayers, and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- Solomon could have anything he wanted from God, but chose an “understanding heart to judge” and the ability “to distinguish right from wrong.” Why do you think this was so pleasing to God? All of us spend time judging the hearts of others and making decisions about what is right and wrong. What additional steps can you take to allow your judgments and decisions to be guided more by the Holy Spirit than by your likes and desires?
- The Responsorial Psalm says, “Lord, I love your commands.” Why should we love the Lord’s commands, even when they are often hard to keep? What are the circumstances or situations in your life that can make it difficult to follow the Lord’s commands?
- St. Paul says, “all things work for good for those who love God.” But how easy it is to complain or rail against our situations instead of counting on the Lord’s love for us? Can you share a difficult time when the Lord worked good for you despite your hurts, fears or anxieties?
- In the Gospel, we read of the merchant who sells everything to acquire a valuable treasure. How much do you “treasure” your relationship with Jesus? What else can you do to deepen this relationship?
- The meditation asks us to look at the first two parables in the Gospel reading from God’s point of view: “God doesn’t let us into his kingdom reluctantly. Believe it or not, you are a treasure to him! This can be hard to believe sometimes because it’s not the way we usually look at ourselves. But you really are like treasure hidden in a field, out of view, not recognized.” What do these words mean to you? How easy, or hard, is it for you to believe these words? Why?
- Take some time now to pray and thank your heavenly Father for sacrificing “his greatest treasure, his Son, in order to bring us to himself.” Use the prayer at the end of the mediation as the starting point.