July 26, 2020
Jesus Christ, Wisdom of the Father and intelligence of all that exists, is also the hidden treasure, the precious pearl, the net full of fish.
Reading the first book of Kings 3, 5. 7-12
In those days, the Lord appeared at night in dreams to Solomon and said:
“Ask me what you want me to give you.”
“Lord my God: You have made your servant king instead of David my father, but I am a young boy and I do not know where to begin or end. Your servant is in the midst of your people, the one you chose, a people so numerous that it cannot be counted or calculated. Grant your servant a attentive heart to judge your people and discern between good and evil. Well, right, who can do justice to this immense people of yours?”
He pleased the Lord with this plea from Solomon.
Then God said to him:
“For having asked me for this and not a long life or riches for you, for not asking me for the life of your enemies but intelligence to attend to justice, I will act on your word: I grant you, therefore, a wise and intelligent heart, as there has not been before you, nor will another equal arise after you.”
Exit 118, 57 and 72. 76-77. 127-128. 129-130
R/. How much I love your law, Lord!
My share is the Lord;
I’ve resolved to keep your words.
The more I consider the law of your mouth
than thousands of gold and silver coins. R/.
May your goodness comfort me,
according to the promise made to your servant;
when your compassion reaches me,
I will live, and your law will be my delight. R/.
I love your mandates
more than pure gold;
that’s why I appreciate your decrees
and I hate the way of lies. R/.
Your precepts are admirable,
That is why my soul keeps them;
the explanation of your words illuminates,
gives intelligence to the ignorant. R/.
Reading the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans 8, 28-30
We know that to those who love God everything serves good; whom he has called in accordance with his plan. For those he had known beforehand predestined them to reproduce the image of his Son, that he may be the firstborn among many brethren.
And to those who predestined, he called them; those he called, justified them; to those he justified, glorified them.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 13, 44-52
At that time, Jesus said to the people:
“The kingdom of heaven resembles a treasure hidden in the field: the one who finds it hides it again and, full of joy, will sell everything he has and buy the field. The kingdom of heaven also resembles a merchant of fine pearls, who upon finding a great value will sell everything he has and buy it.
The kingdom of heaven also resembles the net they cast into the sea and collects all kinds of fish: when it is full, they drag it to shore, they sit down and gather the good in baskets and the bad ones throw them away.
The same will happen at the end of time: the angels will come out, separate the bad from the good, and throw them into the furnace of fire. There will be crying and grinding of teeth.
Did you understand all this?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said to them:
“Well, a scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a father of the family who draws from his treasure the new and the old.”
Today’s Word of God pours out upon us as a seed that fertilizes the earth of the heart of each of us.
The first reading, which introduces us to the humble yet wise figure of Solomon, who prays for intelligence and not long life or riches, invites us to ask what are the deep desires of our hearts, what we keep inside, what moves us or motivates us to live and do things every day. On some other occasion Jesus said that from the abundance of the heart speaks the mouth. Certainly from the desires of our hearts is made our prayer. What do we ask of the Lord and how do we ask Him? Solomon’s prayer must always inspire us.
The fragments of Psalm 118 are a precious prayer that invites us to trust in the Lord from sincerity and coherence of life. God’s law is much more than a series of precepts or norms, it goes beyond its very letter or formulation; it is the model of life for every human person who has been given to us in a full and definitive way through the humanity of Christ. To love the law is to love Christ and the model of life that He himself proposes to us.
The second reading offers us one of the most paradigmatic texts of St Paul’s life, whose strength has sustained and sustained so many in pain, in anguish, in despair, in any circumstance or moment of the cross: “To those who love God, everything serves them for good”. Focusing one’s existence on loving God as a vital axis on which everything else revolves leads us to live and assume from Him any contradiction, small or large, that may come to us. The ultimate expression of such a assertion is found in Christ himself crucified, who transformed into redemption for all, his sacrifice on the cross out of love for the Father, whose will he had come to fulfill. His extreme gesture of love giving life produced for all mankind the greatest, most immeasurable good, salvation and forgiveness of our sins, the new life as children of God.
If the uncertainty of being loved by someone overwhelms us, from faith we are certain that God has loved us first and continues to love us. And any suffering becomes an offering of love to him who loves us and continues to love us. If we ever touch bottom in our lives for whatever reason, let’s not forget it… to those of us who love God, everything must serve us for good. If God loves me, it doesn’t matter everything else.
In the Gospel, Jesus again speaks to us of the Kingdom and explains it to us through parables, which are images of daily life for those who listened to Him, and for us as well. The Kingdom of God or the heavens is like a hidden treasure, or a precious pearl, or a net full of fish. After the first two images, that of the treasure or that of the pearl, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom is a Value that changes the life of those who find it, so that it does not matter to leave all of the above in order to obtain the treasure or pearl. Certainly the Kingdom of God is not something material, tangible, that is here or there. We cannot identify it with an ideology, with a political system, with a series of rules or laws… It is the mysterious presence of God’s project on all mankind, which has been manifested to us in Jesus Christ, the Father’s incarnate Word. The Kingdom is not something but someone, it is Jesus Himself, who totally transforms the lives of those who find him and we set everything aside for Him. His Courage is so great that he can satisfy all the deepest desires and desires in our human life.
In the world we are constantly obliged to review and restore our scale of values. We can wonder if Jesus Christ is our First and Greatest Value. To be a disciple of Christ is to always have Him as the absolute and dominant Value from which everything else acquires value and consistency. But to find it you have to look for it, and to seek it you have to set out, get out of ourselves, from our sin, from our selfishness and comfort.
The fish-filled net invites us again to think that we are all called to be part of the Kingdom of God, good and not so good, rich and poor, wise and ignorant, of any race, people, condition and belief. It is an expression of the universality of God’s project on humanity. God wants all men to be saved, and to come to the full knowledge of the truth, St Paul will say. God wants to “catch”, without diminishing freedom, everyone in his network of love and mercy. Leaving the individual judgment for the end. God will ask each of us according to what He has given us. He and only He can separate good from evil, only He can judge, because only He is God.
Today July 26th, the day when the tradition of the Church celebrates the feast of St. Joaquin and St. Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary, we especially remember all our grandparents. We pray for those who have already departed and are in God’s presence. We pray for those who are still with us, that they may continue to fulfill this noble task of transmitting to their grandchildren the principles and values that guide their Christian lives and that sink their roots in Jesus Christ, Principle, and Supreme Value.
In Cuba, we also today recall Cardinal Jaime Ortega, on the first anniversary of his death. We ask the Lord again to grant him eternal rest and shine for him the perpetual light. And may his remembrance prompt us to give ourselves more and better to the task of growing the Kingdom of God on this earth and in this people.
Lord, I stand before you with what I am, with what I have, with my history and my future, with my failures and illusions.
As King Solomon I ask you not for worldly riches or glories, neither long life nor absence of suffering, but a just and attentive heart to serve you and your brothers and sisters, capable of discerning between good and evil, a wise and intelligent heart.
A big heart in which everyone is inside.
A merciful heart capable of always forgiving.
A noble heart to trust you and others.
A heart pierced by pain always alive and throbbing.
A heart sensitive to the needs and sufferings of others.
A peaceful and peaceful heart, kind, close, smiling.
A heart loving the silence in which You dwell.
A poor, humble heart, clean and meek, thirsty for you.
For in loving you and knowing you is enclosed all the wisdom and happiness of this life; because by loving you, everything serves us good.
Thank you Lord, for calling me to be your disciple, for fertilizing my life with your word, for granting me the gift of faith.
Thank you Jesus; You are my hidden treasure, You are my precious pearl, You are the net that traps me and sustains me, which envelops me in love and mercy through the Church in communion with my brothers and sisters.
You are my only Lord, my God and my everything. Amen.