17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: 1Kings 3:5,7-12 II: Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 13:44-52

44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
48 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.
49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous,
50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
51 "Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes."
52 And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."

Interesting Details
One Main Point

The treasure and the pearl indicate the inestimable value of the kingdom and hence it should be zealously pursued to the point of renouncing everything one possesses in order to acquire it. The joy of the kingdom brings to the discoverer is beyond earthly happiness. The dragnet implies that God's kingdom comprises of all kind of people: the good, the bad and the ugly; and the best way to deal with the mixed response to God's words is patient tolerance until the day of final judgment.

  1. As followers of Christ, how do we envision the nature of God's kingdom? How can we make known that kingdom to other people? If we value the worldly goods such as money, fame, power, appearance, etc... and spend time and energy to pursue them, how do we compare these with the values of God's kingdom? No doubt that these worldly goods bring ephemeral joy to us, but how we deduce from these experiences the greater joy of discovering God's kingdom?
  2. Each on of us physically found the Kingdom of God (the Church), but has our soul found the Kingdom of God? Is our soul rejoicing? What does one need to do for one's soul to find and to keep the joy of God's kingdom?
  3. Man is like the precious pearls that Jesus found, and Jesus gave all for us. Have you found Christ? What joy and energy has He brought to your being, body and soul? Have you found the joy to give all for Christ?

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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community

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