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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 13:44-52

It’s easy to spot the pearl of great price in people’s lives.  Each of us signals, just by getting up in the morning (or not), what we are willing to give up in order to have what we have.

Parents are the perfect examples of grace-filled people willing to give up much in order to have children.  I watch them in fascination.  The intense love they have for their kids, and their lifelong presence and support of them, provides a daily meditation for me on the depth and breadth of love, and of course its Author.

I’m also fascinated with what professions require of people.  Think back on the days when you were a student.  Can you remember your desk, filled with textbooks, and all those fun novels shoved to the side while you pursued your pearl of great price? And that sacrifice was worth it, wasn’t it?

Good health is another pearl that requires immense sacrifice in order to attain.  There are hundreds of delicious foods that must be ignored every day in order to feel and look better.  And there go those novels again, determinedly shut, and the gym shoes come on for another lovely walk in the park.

Could we take a minute to reflect on those who have chosen priesthood or Religious life?  Think for a moment of the sacrifices made every step of the way towards that goal, and then the daily sacrifices to live those vows.  They had to walk away from so much in order walk into the grace of ordination or Religious life.  Today might be a good day to thank them.

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

3 Comments to “Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A”

  1. For me, the pearl of great price is my wife. She’s been such a great support to me, the children, my work, our friends, our extended families, our ministries, etc. Of course, it’s not always a cake walk and there have been many times of intense disagreements and marital challenges but it is good to be reminded that overall, I have found this pearl of great price. – – Cris

  2. The pearl of great price is eternal life.

  3. For twenty-three years of my life I was part of the religious life. I have a deep respect for those who have dedicated themselves to vowed life in poverty, chastity/celibacy, and obedience. Yes, there was a tremendous amount of sacrifice involved, but the greatest gift was the experience of community. Praying together, eating common meals, living out a charism and ministry offered strength and courage to the “giving up.” Serving God was the source of joy. And of course, God is never outdone.
    After much prayer and discernment, I realized it was time to move on. So for the last twenty-one years I’ve lived the single life. Within society and even in the church, the single life is misunderstood and under-appreciated. This is a couple’s world with many activities being couple or family oriented. Being single is a challenge. I may seem like an independent woman but frequently, I would like to come home to people who are there for me. How grateful I am for friends who understand me and accept me. Do I choose to be single? Perhaps by default… Perhaps it really is my vocation in life. If I didn’t focus on the “pearl of great price,” on the God that I love, then my life could very well be empty. It would be easy to focus on the fact that I don’t have children or grandchildren and even great grandkids. Being single gives me a freedom to reach out to a wide variety of people with the gift of my life. Without God as the center of my life, I could become very selfish and think myself the center of the universe. It takes a lot of sacrifice and humility.
    I was at a conference when a youth minister reflected on this parable with a different twist. Can you imagine that God is the one who has found a pearl of great price in you and in me? God gives all to claim each of us for we are that precious to this loving God. The best thing is we can’t do anything to earn this value. We are cherished in God’s eyes because God has made us that way. Jesus gave his life for each of us. How treasured we are in the heart of God.

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