Read Exodus 34:29-35, Ps. 99:5-7,9, Matthew 13:44-46

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46).

One song sums up our Gospel passage today: “You take the whole world, and give me Jesus… you take the whole world and give me Jesus… you take the whole world and give me Jesus… am satisfied, am satisfied.” There is also another song that brings home the message: “My lifetime, I will give God my lifetime, my lifetime, I will give God my lifetime… if I give God my lifetime, he will take care of me, he will never let me die, I will give God my lifetime.”

Dear friends, we must prioritise heaven to get to heaven. Our desire for heaven must be such that we are willing to let go of everything else on earth. The deeper meaning of the parable of the merchant selling all he had for one pearl of great value is that the bliss of heaven is worth any sacrifice or pain we would have to endure at this moment if only to get heaven.

The man in his parable knew the value of the pearl was beyond everything he had to give in exchange for it. Perhaps so many people laughed at him for buying this pearl, but he knew he would laugh better at last. Today's Christians are so worried and troubled when they do not have the ‘goodies’ of this life, and very often, they compromise their values just for these passing things. Ask yourself, whatever I am trying to achieve now, will it matter if I died today? If it won’t, then it has no value.

Stay calm when everything is not in place in your life. Say to yourself: “It does not matter.” I may not have any money in the bank, I may not have food in the kitchen, I may not be successful in my business, I may not have any true friends or connections, I may not have a PhD, I may not have built a house, bought a car or married, I may not have children of my own, or achieved anything significant even in life, but it doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is that I will be found worthy of eternal life if I die.

There is a saying: “Do not spend your health trying to make money because all the money in the world cannot buy back your health.” Similarly, we can say: “Do not spend your soul trying to gain the world because all that the world contains cannot buy back your soul.” Never get too busy that you do not have time for personal prayer and daily examination of conscience (which is the act of checking up on your soul).

After speaking with God, Moses’ face shone so brightly that the people had to put a veil on his face. When you spend time praying, this is what happens to you. Your whole body receives supernatural light. Like the pearl of great value a man found, the time you spend alone with God is of greater value than anything else in life. Nothing else matters.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, give me the grace to get my spiritual priorities right. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of week 17 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 34:29-35, Ps. 99:5-7,9, Matthew 13:44-46).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu