Sunday, July 27, 2014

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A St Austin, Austin,TX July 27, 2014

“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.’

          After extensive investigation and exhaustive research – mostly in my imagination – I discovered that the person mentioned in today’s Gospel was not the first person to discover the treasure buried in that field.  
          It seems the first person to find this buried treasure was a guy named Zigon.  Zigon hid it again, realizing the treasure could be his if he bought the field.  But Zigon was rather timid.  To buy the field he would have to sell everything he had: his iphone, all his investments, his fancy coffee maker to which he was very attached, and so on.  Everything would have to go and that was taking a huge risk.  What if the treasure turned out to be fake?  What about the tax implications?  What if someone stronger stole it from him?  In addition to being timid, Zigon was also kind of lazy.  And to fill in all the paperwork to cash in his life insurance , and then to hold a garage sale, and then complete the purchase of the field all seemed, not only daunting but overwhelming to Zigon.  And so instead of doing anything about it, he thought and fretted about it.
          Meanwhile, Hyacinth found the treasure in the field.  She too realized if she bought the field she would be fabulously wealthy and set for life.  She hid the treasure again and began planning her approach.  But the field was expensive.  She would have to sell everything in order to get it.  She did not have any problem selling her bowling ball which she had not used for years.  But she hesitated when she came to her prized collection of troll dolls.  And she completely waffled when it came to selling her favorite little black dress, with all its memories.  And because she could not bring herself to sell all that stuff, Hyacinth never was able to raise enough money to buy the field and get the treasure.  She was too attached to the less valuable stuff she already had.
          Finally, Priscilla found that treasure in the Gospel.  Priscilla was not timid nor lazy, nor was she owned by the stuff she owned.  Quickly Priscilla cashed in her investments, life insurance and her retirement plan.  She sold her car, her condominium, the Barry Manalow tapes her mother had left her, the souvenirs she picked up on a trip to Mexico, her furniture, most of her wardrobe, everything. 
It was not easy but she kept her eyes on the prize and with joy sold all that stuff.  It gave her a joyful sense of freedom.   Finally she had enough to buy that field.  She got the treasure and was very wealthy. 
          But that is not all.  It turns out that field was in West Texas, and six weekss after she purchased it, oil was discovered on Priscilla’s field, and of course she had the mineral rights, and she became fabulously wealthy.   
          Now you know the full story. 
          The point of the Gospel parable is not that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure.  That is pretty obvious.  The point is that the Kingdom of Heaven requires an absolute commitment
          I believe that the field spoken of in the parable is not in West Texas, nor in Palestine, but rather inside us.  That field is your own heart.  That is where the treasure of the Kingdom of God is buried.  And you have to go search for it, to find out Who is your King, Who you belong to, Who loves you into being, Who loves you completely. 
          But a lot of stuff gets in the way of truly possessing that treasure: stuff like fear and greed and laziness and hate and lust and pride.  We have to stop clinging to all that stuff, let it all go, to open ourselves to gaining the true treasure, which is the Kingdom of God.  Or to put it another way to make God King of my life. 
          This requires work, and persistence, and dedication.  But it also brings freedom and joy.  We have to find that treasure of God’s love for me and for you, and then we must get rid of everything that stands in the way, that distracts, that prevents us from having that treasure fully. 
          The treasure is not hard to find.  Jesus has shown us the way.  God the Father was truly King in Jesus’ life.  Jesus’ Spirit strengthens and leads us in the correct way to the treasure.  We have to do our part of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and tp be ruthless in getting rid of all that keeps us from gaining that treasure.

          Happy treasure hunting!  

No comments:

Post a Comment