Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Exodus 34:29-35
Gospel Matthew 13:44-46

"‘Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.’"

Jesus offers us two brief parables today, both metaphors describing “the Kingdom of Heaven”. Either parable and its imagery would suffice for a day’s meditation. Perhaps we could meditate, though, upon common threads between the two.

In the first parable, the treasure is buried. In the second, the pearl of great price is sought by a merchant. In both cases, the object of great value and meaning has to be discovered. But there’s a difference between the two. While the treasure is out of sight, presumably the pearl is in plain sight, yet like a needle in a haystack as it rests amidst many other items in the market.

In the first parable, we don’t know whether the person who finds the treasure was looking for it, or chanced upon it. In the second parable, Jesus tells us that the merchant was actively “searching for fine pearls”. The differences and possible differences between these two parables allows us to apply them to various situations in real life. After all, sometimes an individual seeks the Faith for many years before receiving it as a gift from God. Others, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, are struck by what seems a bolt from the blue. Nonetheless, for all, faith in Christ and life in Christ are a treasure worth all that we have to give.