Thursday, July 21, 2011

Of pearls and buried treasure

The following thoughts are taken from the beginning of the appeal talk I will be giving at Sunnybank and Acacia Ridge parishes this weekend (July 23/24), as part of the Catholic Mission appeal program. They draw on the imagery in this weekend's Gospel, about the landowner finding buried treasure, and selling all he owns to possess it; and a merchant similarly selling all his possessions to acquire a precious and rare pearl.

Celena and I are considering moving. There is a town house in Wellington Point that has caught our eye and we are in the process of doing the paperwork, and dealing with banks and mortgage brokers and everything that comes with such a decision. It also means, however, we are doing a lot of clearing out, and culling.

When we cull, or when we have a clearing out in our life - a room, a desk, a shed - we come to understand what is really important. The things that are perhaps trivial, or less meaningful, we dispose of; we keep what is significant and what we truly cherish.

This goes some way towards conveying the mindset Jesus invokes in the Gospel for this weekend (July 23/24). When He shares about the owner of the field selling everything to buy the buried treasure, or the merchant selling all his possessions in order to purchase a newly discovered valuable pearl, He is asking each of us to consider the ultimate clearing out or cull, with the question: "What would compel us to give up everything?" Or to use the theme for the Catholic Mission appeal at this time, "What sacrifice would we make in order to 'Do Something Beautiful for God?'"

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