What do you treasure most in life? For what would you forsake everything? What does this mean for you in this day, in this moment and in this place? The mysteries of the Kingdom of God are sometimes incomprehensible. Once in awhile, like Solomon, we get it right but often we miss the mark.
In today’s First Reading Solomon’s stunning and humble response is a model for us. The Lord in a dream asks him what he should be given. Solomon begins his answer by extolling God’s great and abiding love. He expresses his inability to know how to complete even the simplest of tasks. Solomon reminds us that we are a great people, chosen by God, a people that he desires to serve well. He therefore asks God for understanding in order to govern well. God grants his request. Solomon’s heart did not chase worldly possessions or fame. He treasured service, even though he was king.
All things work together for good for those who love God we are told in the Second Reading. If we love God first and foremost in our lives, then what are we willing to do for such a great God? All things can be ours if we are called to work for a divine purpose and not our own. The work of our hands will be glorified Paul writes in Romans because we are justified. I suppose this can be twisted around and used for all sorts of wrong purposes but if love is at the root of our actions, then perhaps not.
The Gospel today has more images of the Kingdom of God. Simple images of people doing every day life and discovering the Divine right in their midst. How fantastic is that? Where do you find your treasure? What field needs buying and attention in your life right now? What do you need to get rid of in order to have room for this precious pearl?
If a field does not appeal to you, perhaps then the image of the net filled with fish might. I read for the first time though I am sure I have heard it many times before, that the bad fish will be tossed out. The next image is even more eschatological. The Angels will separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace. There are many good fish, I suspect in the net. I cannot judge even my own life, let alone someone else’s, but I struggle with this image. Again, it comes down to what do I treasure. What is in my heart? Hold fast to the old treasure of wisdom and understanding like Solomon and merge it with the new teaching of loving your neighbour and you may be able to find a path in the field that leads to Life.
There is much to ponder in today’s readings, especially as I leave on vacation. I hope to find quiet moments to see what flowers bloom in my heart and what pearls of price I want to purchase. I know these come at a great cost but as I walk the fields of Taize, I will remember this Gospel and ask the golden fields what wisdom they have for me.