Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
I had not written this for blogging purposes, but here goes. The following is a reflection on today’s readings.
“ ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; 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; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Christian living is by its very nature paradoxical. For disciples self-giving precipitates life in abundance. Poverty of self and obedience fall on the road to freedom.
Though he was not a disciple of Jesus Christ, the prophet Jeremiah experienced the complex nature of grace (poverty and obedience). He laments the weighty expectations of the Lord for him. While I can appreciate, and even identify, with the Hebrew prophet, he is what he is; Jeremiah is a man who wrestles with God, nature and grace.
As today’s gospel demonstrates, God’s kingdom is a desirable treasure; It is true freedom and perfect joy. Granted a little mysterious, perhaps even allusive, the kingdom of which Jesus speaks is more wonderful than precious pearls, great scotch, or fine wine.
As father Francis taught us, to receive and follow Jesus Christ is a perfect joy. Of course while Francis could preach such, he too with Jeremiah and many of us, suffered the temptation of alternative perfections. Rather than seek after perfect joy, we Christians tend after vainer goals. Such things as perfect conduct, perfect deeds, ..…performance, health, happiness and security are not, I am afraid, the stuff of freedom.
When we can praise God with gratitude for all that we are, only then do we experience true freedom and perfect joy. The kingdom of heaven may be mysterious and somewhat allusive, but as Jesus tells us today, it is worth digging up and buying into.