Vol: 44, No.41 17TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( A) July 30 2017  
A Jewish Rabbi often dreamt of having found a great treasure in a civil officer’s house. One day he dared to go and tell this to the concerned civil officer. But the civil officer refused to believe in the words of the Rabbi, saying, “I do not believe in dreams. One day I too dreamt of having a treasure in the house of a Jewish Rabbi.” The Jewish Rabbi took his words seriously and dug into his own house and to his surprise he found a great treasure there.
Human beings are always in search of some or the other treasures in their life. For some it is wealth, for others it is a good name, and still for some others it is a life-giving relationship. All this is done with the view of experiencing a deep sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. Today’s readings propose three things which one should yearn and long for in life:
a) Love for wisdom: In the First Reading (1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12) King Solomon asks God for the gift of wisdom. The kings of ancient Israel asked God for three things: wealth, long life and victory over enemies. But Solomon asks God for wisdom so that he may handle the affairs of his people in an able manner. This shows his God-fearing nature, his concern for the people over his own concerns, and his love for wisdom. No wonder Solomon is called the patron of Jewish Wisdom Literature. The books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Wisdom are attributed to him. Unfortunately this gift of wisdom could not save him from seeing the division of his own kingdom because he had lost the first love that he had for God. The small temples that he built for the gods of his foreign wives eventually caused the destruction of the magnificent Temple which he had built for Yahweh, the God of Israel.
b) Love for God: In the Second Reading (Rom 8:28-30) St Paul informs the Romans how all things work for good for those who love the Lord. Four things happen to the people who love God: they yearn to fulfil God’s plan for the world, they respond to the call of God whole- heartedly, they live a righteous life, and finally they are glorified by God. Before searching for the treasure outside one has to search for the will of God oneself. This demands discernment. The journey is not over even after getting to know the will of God. One has to wholeheartedly respond to the inner call and live a righteous life. The glory that is reserved for such people is not the goal or destination of this journey but rather the joy of loving God and discovering God’s love for oneself.
c) Love for the Kingdom of Heaven: In the Gospel (Matthew 13:44-52) we come across four parables that teach us to train ourselves to search for the most valuable things in life and to be ready to give up everything for the sake of this precious treasure (parable of the hidden treasure and the precious pearl), to choose the good things in life, and to throw away the harmful things (the parable of the dragnet). Jesus’ concluding remark on the parable discourse invites us to be like “a scribe who is trained for the kingdom of heaven who is like a householder who takes out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Have I found the treasure in my life? What price am I ready to pay in order to possess this treasure? Am I ready to separate the good from the bad in my life in order to enjoy the heavenly treasure of love, joy and peace?
– Fr (Dr) Robert B. D’Souza
July / August 2017 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 1
31 Mon (W) St Ignatius of Loyola Exod 32:15-24, 30-34/ Ps 106:19-23/ Mt 13:31-35
01 Tue (W) St Alphonsus Liguori Exod 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28/ Mt 13:36-43
02 Wed (G) Sts Eusebius of Vercelli & Peter Julian Eymard
Exod 34:29-35/ Ps 99:5-7, 9/ Mt 13:44-46
03 Thu (G) Exod 40:16-21, 34-38/ Ps 84:3-6, 8, 11/ Mt 13:47-53
04 Fri (W) St John Mary Vianney Lev 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37/ Ps 81:3-6, 10-11/ Mt 13:54-58
05 Sat (W) Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome
Lev 25:1, 8-17/ Ps 67:2-3, 5-8/ Mt 14:1-12
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