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Theology for the common man

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time A

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The first reading praises wisdom as a great treasure for which everyone should strive. Solomon, son of king David, chooses it as a most important tool to govern the Israel nation because it guarantees a social stability and justice pointing to God as its source. The same way, we should govern our life with this wisdom and with God, as a most precious and sensible basis of our life. Jesus, in the Gospel today speaks about it when he explains what the Kingdom of God is about. He compares it to “a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field,” or to “a merchant searching for fine pearls; when he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” It was a practice, at the time of a war, in order that people's possessions /treasures were kept safe, to bury in a nearby field in order to hide against the invaders. When the owners didn’t come back for their property it would be passed to other hands; the people who worked in the field finding the treasure buried there would try to buy this field containing this treasure, even at every cost, going into debt, which would open for them the beginning of new life. Likewise, a connoisseur, knowing pearls which he sees one most precious, he decides to sell all he has, to buy that one ASAP, to be the first one.
These pictures from life assisted Jesus in explaining the mystery of the Kingdom of God. A solid, concrete setting showing the direction of wisdom that engages one to build their life, that God is a most important treasure. In comparison with other values of this earth, God appears as a most beautiful pearl, as if it was a treasure found in the field which every day one can conquer, losing all others that are not worth the trouble or sacrifice. The other two examples about the Kingdom of God compared to “a net thrown into the see which collects fish of every kind” in which the good fish are taken into buckets and the bad are thrown away, and about “the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old”; those examples show a lasting triumph of goodness, thanks to a life guided by the wisdom established in God. Let’s always choose this kind of wisdom in our life.