Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homily on Matthew 13:44-52

You have the Treasure; I will be Nostalgic

In recent days I have been bringing out my possessions both old and new to sort them. There are all kind of things scattered in my house and it is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. Now like a fisherman I will have to sort them out, box all good stuff and the bad stuff to be thrown into the garbage bin. It reminds me of what the Lord said about the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom will collect all sorts, but at the end the Lord will send his angels to sort out the good and the evil.

There are plenty of treasure of the old I still keep. The prayer schedule, faith practices, charity services, old friends, and the lived experience of Christian faith are worth keeping. Along the way, I have also found new insights, inspirations, and novel ways of celebrating faith. Thus my treasure is a mix of both old and new.

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.” Anyone who can see through the field, the hidden treasure in it, will sacrifice everything to buy the field for the treasure in it. Our parish as a faith community can be compared to a field with hidden treasures. While some people see only the ‘field’ in a parish, others with openness to the Holy Spirit perceive the hidden treasure of God’s rule in the faith community. Because of the treasure they see, they are ready to make sacrifices for the good of the parish. Berala is rich with such committed and faithful people. The joy, peace and fellowship this parish could bring about has been phenomenal. Therefore, as I move on, I will always be nostalgic about this parish.

For an experience of the Kingdom of God we need not wait till our death. We have been praying “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”. God has answered. The Kingdom of God is hidden in the field of this parish. It has the fine pearls you have been looking for. Do not hesitate to make sacrifices to appropriate the precious experience of the Kingdom of God available for you here and now.