Gospel Matthew 13:44-52

“He goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.”

Jesus is good at telling a story. Here the story might seem a little inane, but let’s dig a little deeper.

There’s a particular theme of risk running through these parables, which might seem somewhat reckless. Imagine finding something of such tremendous value. Surely it would be the smart thing to put all our efforts into obtaining that one valuable thing, but would I actually be willing to take that risk?

Selling everything I own, including all those things to which I have become attached would be a daunting task, even if it is a sure thing.

It is risk though, which is the defining reality of our lives. There is tremendous risk in making oneself vulnerable, but it is vulnerability which allows us to experience love – to love and to be loved. This is what gives our lives meaning, and without which we cannot be fully human.

In telling this story, Jesus taps into the basic human desire is for the infinite – he uses the image of earthly riches to point to something much more, and he indicates the necessity of risk involved in obtaining that which our hearts seek.

When Jesus speaks these parables, he issues an invitation, one which is free of all coercion, but which presents itself to me with force. It imposes itself upon me, such that I cannot remain unchanged. While I am free to respond in any way which I chose, but I am not free to remain unchallenged by the invitation.

How will I respond?

Can I step forward and boldly risk all to obtain that which has been offered to me?

What do I need to do to verify the truth of what has been proposed and respond appropriately?

What is holding me back?

Point to Ponder

“Life is hunger, thirst, and passion for an ultimate object, which looms over the horizon, and yet always lies beyond it. When this is recognized, man becomes a tireless searcher.”

― Luigi Giussani, The Religious Sense