First Reading: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Second Reading: Romans: 8:28-30
Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52
Today’s readings seem to be about what we really value and what sacrifices we might be willing to make to attain something of great worth. God gives Solomon the opportunity to ask for anything he wants. What would we request in that situation? Would we ask for something for ourselves or something to help others? Good health? Money for a new home or car? College tuition for the kids? World peace? A cure for cancer? A forgiving heart? Wisdom? Solomon asks for an understanding heart so that he can rule the people well and fairly. Each day we have many opportunities to ask God for special gifts or for something we or our world needs. Let us consider how our values influence these requests.
In the Gospel parables, Jesus tells us about a person who sells all to purchase a field where a treasure is buried. Another sells every possession to buy a fine pearl. What is it that we find most valuable? Can others tell by the way we live what we truly value? Do we value our faith and our relationship with God enough to make even small sacrifices? Will we give of our resources to aid those who are poor? Will we give of our time to visit or call someone who is ill or homebound? Do we take time for private prayer daily and church services at least on Sunday? Do we make known that we disapprove of unkind, racist or prejudiced comments made by friends or family? It’s a matter of what we value and how much we value it.
Loving God, the values we try to live by are based on the qualities we see in You and those lived by Jesus in the Gospels. Help us to be true to what we believe and to what we really value. May our lives speak loudly of our values, even when we don’t say a word about them. May we not be afraid or ashamed to stand up for what we value, even if we are alone or in a minority. Help us, also, to respect the values of others, especially when they are different from our own. May we value You and Your will above all else. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Maureen Irvin, osf
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg