Matthew 13: 44-46
44 "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.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Today’s Gospel passage gives us twin parables with a common message. Both the pearl and the treasure represent the kingdom of God or God’s rule in human hearts.
Treasure & pearl:
Since Palestine was the most fought-over country in the world in the first century, people hid their valuables underground when they fled from invading armies. The owners did not always get a chance to return to their land. Some other farm workers occasionally found such treasures, and the rabbinic law gave the ownership of the treasure to the finder. In order to avoid any later legal problems, the intelligent treasure-finder bought the land containing the treasure, selling all his other possessions to do so, if he had to. Pearls were the most valuable of the treasures. A merchant who located a superior pearl would be wise to sell the rest of his stock and property to acquire it. Acquiring a treasure or a pearl of great value means accepting the will of God in our lives and sacrificing everything to do the will of God, or to live as God wants us to live. That is God’s Kingship over us and within us. The kingdom of God is also a group of people on earth who, with His grace, work to do the will of God as perfectly as it is done in Heaven. Hence, being in God’s Kingdom also means offering willing obedience to God.
1) A right relationship with God, or a state of Sanctifying Grace, is the most valuable treasure in the Christian life because it gives us a life of everlasting bliss with God after our death. The Holy Spirit, the Bible and the Sacraments are the treasures in the Church which enable us to do the will of God and possess the Kingdom of God. Hence, we must be ready to make any sacrifice to use these treasures, to practice self-control and to do acts of charity, mercy and forgiveness, thus keeping a right relationship with God. (Fr. Tony)