Homily for the seventeenth Sunday of the year - Year A - Mt. 13:44-52
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" Jesus said: «The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
 
" «Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
 
" «Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
 
" «Have you understood all this?» They said to him, «Yes.» And he said to them, «Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" Jesus said: «The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.» "
 
Today, Jesus speaks to us again about the Kingdom of God! What could be more natural for the Son of God? Moreover, do we not have but a single desire in our heart: to go to Heaven, our Homeland, to share in the very Life of God there, in the company of Jesus and Mary?
 
We might question the honesty of this man who discovers a treasure in a field, hides it again, and then buys the field, without telling everyone that the field contains such a treasure...
 
This treasure is none other than the Kingdom of God itself, or rather, the grace of God that leads to the Kingdom. As God is the only author of grace, it is clear that the owner of the field is God, and so he knows very well that this field holds such a treasure. So in the framework of this parable, he who buys such a field does so honestly.
 
Let us note above all that the grace of God, which is this treasure, and which is, by definition, free, must nevertheless be paid for, albeit indirectly, it is true. We must, in a certain sense, pay God for the gift of his grace! How? Quite simply, by giving ourselves, and principally, by giving our freedom...
 
What more could we give God than our freedom? There is nothing more personal, more intimate. And by giving God our freedom, we pay the full price: he who buys the field thus deserves to receive, in addition, all the treasures of the earth!
 
These days, the situation we are looking at takes place quite rarely. Generally speaking, owners always try to gain the most money possible by selling their goods at a price above their true value. Thus, the buyer often comes out the loser. But sometimes we find a good deal: the honesty of the transaction would then depend on all the circumstances surrounding it.
 
We must always ask ourselves if, when justice is satisfied, charity is also satisfied. For example, if I buy the field of the head of a household who is obliged to sell his property in order to pay off his debts, I would be obliged, at least because of charity, to share with him the fruits of my discovery of a treasure...
 
" «Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.» "
 
This second parable is very similar to the first: we must do everything, and above all, we must give everything to God in order to be worthy of possessing the Kingdom of God! This second parable includes the same idea as the first: the Kingdom of God must sometimes be hidden and buried under the earth, for such a pearl of great price must not be revealed indiscriminately to all: "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you." (Mt. 7:6)
 
" «Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.» "
 
If we have given all to God, at least in spirit, then we must not be afraid of being rejected, like bad fish, and condemned to the fire of hell. God is faithful: if we have responded to his Love, notably in the Holy Eucharist, then we are already resurrected with Christ, having participated, and still participating, in his Passion until our last breath!
 
Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to teach us to make a good and holy communion, in order to fortify us in the fight against sin, and to detach us from this passing world!
 

To order the weekly homily immediately, click here