Vocation Meditation -
July 24, 2011
Jesus spoke to the crowds:
"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."
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, he drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad."
Jesus proclaims that the kingdom of God is where God reigns. It is where peace, joy, purpose and fulfillment in one's life reside. It is where the human heart and creation are at home. However, with the experience of sin, the offer of the kingdom of God has not been easy to find. It has become the heart's constant search.
Jesus tells us the kingdom of God is God's will for us: to find it is to find God! We gather lessons from these three parables.
- There is immense joy attached to the discovery of the will of God for us. God sustains our desire to keep it until we finally possess it in our heart. However we discover the will of God for ourselves, whether it is in the lightening flash of a moment's illumination or at the end of a long and conscious search, it is worth everything to accept it unhesitatingly. The kingdom of God requires totality of the gift of self. Everything has to be 'sold' and sacrificed to own it and be led by it.
- There are other 'pearls' of loveliness around us but only one pearl of great price. There is the great exchange of choosing the most valuable of all pearls. The supreme beauty and value of the find lie in the total acceptance of the will of God. The price of the Kingdom's pearl is the willing obedience which makes us friends of God. We must choose to treasure His reign in our hearts.
- It is the nature of the dragnet not to discriminate. Such is the Church, the instrument of God's kingdom upon earth. It is bound to be a mixture of all kinds of people: good and bad, sinners and saints, believers and non-believers. All are bound to live and mix, to witness or not witness the faith. The Church is open to all-- welcoming, teaching and waiting for each one to choose to accept God in their lives. At the end of life, the time of separation will come when God alone judges those who are truly fit to enjoy what He has in store for the 'faith-filled' ones in His kingdom. It is then, my call to welcome the mix of fraternity in the Church called to be holy in charity day by day.
"On finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all he had." Do I strive to 'sell all' lesser pearls that I cling to each day for this supreme 'pearl' of my vocation?
My vocation to follow You is by far my treasure, my pearl of great price. You hid it in me when I was born. Then You led me to it that I might heed your voice so as to possess it above all other calls. Lord, when lusters of lesser pearls attract me during moments of human weakness and confusion, draw me close to You. Shine your light so that I may again recognize the dignity, the grace and the joy of being chosen, loved and sent to serve in Your Church. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.