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Finding our treasure

Dear Parishioners,

We all dream of finding treasures. Usually our “treasure” is money, a special heirloom, or a cherished memory. Ordinarily we don’t think of “treasure” as a person. Yes, we do speak of two people being deeply in love as treasuring each other. Parents treasure their children. People can be treasures. This weekend’s Gospel speaks of treasure, a very special one. This treasure is Life. This treasure is the Master. This treasure is the Messiah. This treasure is the Son of God.

What, really, does the Father give us? What is the treasure that is to claim our hearts? The “inexhaustible treasure in heaven” the Father gives us is the Son (the Master). Our hearts must lie with the Son, for He is our treasure. Those servants who are formed by this Treasure abide by the Son’s expectations and seek to carry them out. Faithful servants do as the Son would do – their actions follow their heart. When our hearts lie where our treasure is, it is not overly difficult to do what the Son would do.

Jesus admonishes His disciples to be vigilant for the “master’s return,” to be eager to learn and to do the “master’s will,” and be “faithful” though the master’s coming is delayed. Though much will be required of them, more will be given to them: “your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” In the Gospel, the kingdom we seek is not a place, but it is a divine Presence. It is manifested when we followers of Jesus are faithful to our Master’s will. God’s kingdom is present when we are engaged in an activity of “doing God.” That is, when our doing is God-like: when it is creating and loving, merciful and forgiving, faithful and prudent.

What helps us in our doing “doing God” is vigilant preparation. This preparation is not about busyness, but it is about keeping ourselves focused on God who entrusts us with much: preparing ourselves for the coming of the “Son of Man.” Receiving this inexhaustible treasure depends upon our readiness. Delay does not matter. Seeking God does.

There are many treasures found in this life, for example, family, home, community, friendship, integrity, to name a few. Good as these are, they are nonetheless exhaustible. What the Father offers us is an inexhaustible Treasure: the fullness of the Life of the Risen Lord. Possessing this divine Life is possessing the Spirit of the Risen Son who dwells with those of us who are faithful stewards.

We live according to where our treasure is. This is why the way we live as disciples is so critical. This is why being a disciple is not something we slot into our already too busy schedules: one hour a week for Mass, only so much money in the collection basket, or another hour a week doing some volunteer work. Being a disciple is just that – being. It is much more a matter of the surrender of our whole selves to the “Master’s will” which means, first, being true to making present the kingdom which is already within and among us. This is the “much” with which we have been entrusted: who we are and how we live makes present God’s kingdom.

The way we live, therefore, witnesses to where our treasure is. Our very living challenges others to prioritize their treasures. Clearly, God must have priority in our lives. We make this apparent when religion is not so much practices we do as a loving relationship we develop as we encounter God and then extend that life we are given to others.

May Saint Michael the Archangel defend, guide, protect, and intercede for us always!

Fr. Larry

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