Today's Gospel: MT 13:44-52
I grew up in a Catholic home, and though we did not celebrate every feast, we did not miss Mass on Sunday mornings. I was Catholic mainly because my family was, and though I loved the Church and didn't ever want to leave, I couldn't "give reason for my hope" in the Catholic faith.
While I never officially left, I did my share of wandering spiritually in my 20's. I would miss Mass, I didn't go to Confession, and I generally gave little thought to much about Catholicism. I had a resurgence of faith through some Evangelical ministries, and when our first daughter was born, we started attending Mass regularly.
But it was when I was challenged by non-Catholics on points of the Faith that I started to study it more carefully and started living the Faith instead of just professing it on Sunday mornings. Slowly, through this study - and, eventually, through the study that came from homeschooling our children - I began to see what a treasure I had in the Catholic Church.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
As an American, there is not a lot of risk involved in being Catholic right now. But Jesus reminds us that our faith should be such that we'd be willing to give up everything we have to keep it, to be a part of it.
This Gospel makes me think of the men and women who convert to Catholicism, and especially of those who had previously been ministers in other Christian faith traditions. Talk about selling everything for the Pearl of Great Price! Few people are asked to go to that distance for the Faith, but in our hearts, we're supposed to be ready to do so.
Do I really treasure the Catholic faith in my heart of hearts? Would I lay it all on the line just to be a part of the Mystical Body of Christ? What things am I putting before God in my life that I should get out of the way of my relationship with Him?
Father in Heaven, there is so much in this life to distract me from You. Help me to put nothing before You in my life. Teach me to value the Pearl of Great Price that You have given me. Help me to want You more than anything else.
Copyright 2014 Christine Johnson
About the Author
Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and is the mother of two homeschool graduates. She and Nathan live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, and Lay Dominican.