Commentary for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Treasure! Here is a word that human beings use frequently in the language of affection, in romantic literature. So used, the word treasure has nothing to do with the space in which we keep valuable objects but more with generous and inexhaustible love. A god mine, an endless source, scope where nothing ends, a person who always amazes and loves… This we call “treasure!”, my treasure!
Net! This other word is characteristic of post modernity. It is the key in understanding the reality of togetherness and interconnection; we are a bunch of relations and from them come fortune or misfortune, information and virus. To be connected to the net is a risk and an opportunity.
Treasure and net are two keys that allow us to access the teachings of our Lord.
Wisdom and Treasure
A “treasure” was what Solomon asked of God when in the mystery of a dream God spoke to him. The request of the young King was the treasure of “good government, the ability to discern, to act, to lead his people to happiness, justice and peace. What an important treasure to ask for!
Today we complain so much and so often of bad government. We lament the lack of wisdom in decision making, and this occurs on all levels not only political, also family, not only social but also in communities both secular and religious. The truth is that God is grateful when one asks for wisdom, and honest heart. It is a gift that God gives generously.
The seeking of treasure.
Jesus also asks us to seek for treasure. He tells us that treasure is found when we desire it. Patience purifies the desire. You must wait. When the treasure appears then you have to get rid of whatever takes its place, to give away everything for it. The treasure wishes to be the only treasure.
For Jesus the treasure is God the Father reigning, taking the initiative, being God and accomplishing
his will in the world, in society, in each one of us. Treasure is to know oneself loved and surrounded by love that fills all and desire to reach fullness.
The treasure of the Kingdom is hidden in a field. It isn’t in the sky far from the earth transcendentally inaccessible. The treasure is here but few get it, few seek it or find it. He who finds the hidden treasure is the hidden treasure is the luckiest person in the world. When this happens the person is ready to get rid of everything else. The things he possesses seems insignificant, without value compared to the unique value of the treasure. Therefore “leave everything come and follow me” is not so difficult for whoever encounters Jesus, his cause, his treasure. Because “your heart is where your treasure is.”
THE NET, place of reunion for everyone.
Jesus compared the Kingdom to a net. It is obvious that today we give the “net” another special meaning. Nevertheless it isn’t so far from the reality that Jesus was referring to. It is fight to call this world a net that internet offers us, this impressive capacity of global world connection.
Also the “net”, we live entangled in the net of the kingdom, the good and the wicked like the wheat and the weeds in the field of the world. How close it is, how it catches everyone. But what happens that we don’t notice it. Do we have eyes that don’t see, ears and we don’t hear.
Faith uncovers an unimaginable horizon. Lord gives us the treasure of faith. The presence of the Kingdom is always worrying. We cannot say with absolute certainly “this is so or this isn’t so. We have to remain humble and modest. Only God reveals to us where we are really and where his powerful hand operates we avoid hasty opinions. In the end the good fish will be separated from the bad ones.
Whoever doesn’t want to contaminate himself will think it better to leave the net, to be pure wheat without weeds, to be pure without impurity. Paul in his letter to the Romans puts forward one of his most accurate convictions. We know that to those that love God hi works for the good who love him, whom he has fcalled according to his plan.
We state the main character of God in our life. We leave all to his providence, to his secret and efficacious way of bringing us to Him. He predestines us, calls us, justifies us, and glorifies us. This is treasure, His kingdom within us, his constant protection in the middle of the net.