Image: Parable of the Treasure Buried in the Field by Rembrandt, sourced from Wikimedia Commons
By Amber Kinloch
“The kingdom of heaven is like 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.” (Matthew 13:44)
My mom shared with me a homily she heard on this parable. All credit to Father for furnishing the insights I expound on here.
Rather than talking about the treasure, Father focused on the field. Imagine you want to buy it. What a hassle! Who owns the field? Will they sell it to you? At what price?
Now think about the spiritual life. You don’t understand or appreciate who God is in all His depths instantaneously. You constantly have to search for Him in deeper ways. Grace builds upon grace, and God may withhold great blessings because you need to grow before you can receive them.
Maybe that means more time in prayer, or overcoming some habitual sin, or offering up more sacrifices. Or maybe He takes away consolations and leaves you feeling dry or desolate. After all, it’s only when the Cross confronts us that we find out whether our love for Him is worth anything.
Then there’s what we get. There’s the treasure, yes, but there’s also this untended field, littered with rocks and weeds. In short, we get a mess.
What mess? Well, there’s the commandments you don’t like but have to keep. There’s being part of a Church chockful of sinful members whose voices and opinions appear to prevail over all. There are these laws about fasting and abstinence and getting married in the Church. The list goes on and on.
That said, the treasure is worth it. As to those difficulties and annoyances Father cautioned his hearers about, yes, bear in mind that you have to accept those as part and parcel of securing the treasure. At the same time, don’t be discouraged by them.
The Commandments aren’t a list of arbitrary rules. They’re a gift. God simplifies our lives so much by laying out clearly what is good and what is evil.
Those sinful members, too, might be converted through your prayers and sacrifices even as you sanctify yourself through these works of mercy. As St. Paul attests, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
All things work for good.
Don’t hesitate or be intimidated, no matter the difficulties. God is on our side.
Amber writes from the bunker of her living room. There she hunkers down with her laptop and a blanket while keeping an eye and ear tuned in to the activity of family life. Music set on loop keeps her energy flowing as she muses on the deeper happenings of ordinary life and what food to restock the fridge with.