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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 13: 44-52

It’s so interesting to watch the birds in our neighborhood. They appear to be just hanging out, chattering to their friends from the trees, or languidly floating around, making circle eights in the sky. But, all of a sudden, a whole flock of sparrows descends on one little patch of grass, and away they fly, carrying worms and other gems back to their nests.

That’s the thing. If you want the hidden treasure, you have to put yourself in the position to find it. Then there’s the matter of discerning what is truly valuable. Skim milk, sang Gilbert and Sullivan, often masquerades as cream.

If we want something badly enough we are willing to buy a whole field in order to own the treasure we know is hidden there. But great gifts like a loving spouse, faithful friends, nurturing families and great jobs require our devoted attention. We can’t just drop them off somewhere and expect they’ll be there when we return. The greatest treasures require our greatest efforts.

Faith is like that. A grown-up, nurturing faith that goes the distance for a lifetime is the pearl of greatest price, but we have to keep ourselves in the game in order to own it. Like birds circling in for the food they’ve been watching for, human beings also need to hover close to that which truly nourishes.

Catholics today are living in a time of spiritual explosion. There must be twenty great publications, in print or online, that offer insightful reflections on the gospel for each day of the year. Classes and retreats abound. Spiritual directors are available. Are you feeling hungry? Swoop down and get yourself some breakfast.

In what ways are you keeping your faith alive and nourished?

Kathy McGovern ©2017


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