July 27, 2008
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

First Reading: 1 Kgs. 3:5-12
Psalm 119
Second Reading:
Rom. 8:28-30
Gospel: Matt. 13:44-52

Theme: Treasure! Treasure!! What Kind of Treasure Do I Seek with God?,

There are treasures we keep SAFE in our hearts. We treasure:

1. Dating

2. Wedding

3. 1st pregnancy

4. Baptism

5. 1st Reconciliation

6. 1st Communion

7. Grade 8 Graduation ceremonies

8. 1st Driver License

9. Confirmation ceremonies

10. Grade 12 Graduation

11. At 18, we can’t wait moving out from home to live on our own for the first time

12. 1st job – babysitting at 13 or 14 to make money towards a first car

All these successes bring us joy of achievement and we rejoice with the world. They reveal, at the same time, our dislike of failure, because we feel unpleasant to be considered a failure or unsuccessful.

Engagement calls for humility of the man who kneels before the woman and asks her hand in marriage. At that engagement ceremony, there is excitement because a treasure of great value has finally been found. Thus, in faith and trust, the guy and the woman promise never to trample underfoot their newfound treasure to be united as one.

In fact, they do everything in their power to safeguard their union; sometimes even to the disagreement or disapproval of their parents and observant, critical eyes. They feel so proud and overjoyed to share with the world their impending wedding ceremonies. They seem happy to accept their new responsibility. Consequently, they devote time and commitment utter fidelity to keep their treasure of love that would seemingly complete their personhood.

We could apply these systemic and exciting feelings arising from an engagement to understand faith as the one great treasure through which we develop intimacy with God. When we apply similar sentiments of excitement arising from an engagement to faith, we realize that God simply asks us to “possess”[1][1] faith in him. When we do not hold on to faith, we face the test of believing that we cannot succeed. And yes, when we fail to cultivate the faith to believe in ourselves, we fail to treasure the value of God, who is the greatest gift ever in our life. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God has planted the treasure – that is, the seed of faith already in our heart.

Our duty is to water and nurture it to mature in order for it to produce abundantly as God intended it to be. As participants in this Eucharist, let us as make the treasure – the gift our of faith as exciting as we treasure significant successes and moments in our life; let us pour ourselves out in making our faith in God as exciting as we look forward to or anticipate an engagement ceremony!

[1][1] “Possess” to imply ownership of one’s faith

Father John-Baptist Okai
Priest Moderator
St. Cecilia Parish, Regina SK Canada

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