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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A


Growing up in the 1960’s was a very interesting time to be young.  Almost everywhere you looked young people wanted to be radical and counter-cultural.  There seemed to be a longing to stand for something, a desire for change and a genuine uncertainty about the future.  Little did I realize that the most radical and counter cultural thing that I would ever do in my life was to become a Catholic.  As many of you know, I was raised Jewish and then converted to Christianity, only to float from one Christian church to another like a cork bouncing on the sea.  Finally, I found the Catholic Church and I knew I was home.  Being a Catholic is different from other religions.  Our blessed Lord Jesus does not want only a little bit of you, He wants All of You!  No holding back, no half hearted attempts.  He wants you to give everything to Him, and in return He will give us graces, blessings, and the very Kingdom of God. 

In today’s readings we are told just that.  The great King Solomon did not ask God for riches or wealth, yet he became one of the wealthiest King who ever lived. He did not ask for power, yet his kingdom spread far and wide.  Instead, he asked for an understanding heart to judge the people and determine right from wrong.  We too need to ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit so that we too can have an understanding heart, especially in dealing with others.  St. Paul tells the Romans, that God called us to be “conformed to the image of His Son”.  God always wanted you!  Let me say that again, God always wanted you!  Warts and all, He has been calling you to follow Him.  As we conform to Christ in the Sacraments and through His Church, our lives transform and we become more like Him who called us. 

In our Gospel passage we have a few little parables about the Kingdom of Heaven.  They speak of treasure and of a pearl of great price, but notice what is required.  You must give up everything to obtain these treasures.  Not just 10% or 50% or even 90%, but everything, then you will get riches beyond compare.  It forces us to ask ourselves how dedicated to our God and to His Church are we? Are we playing the “percentage game” or does He have all of us?  So, this week let us seek an understanding heart from the Holy Spirit, let us strive to be conformed to the image of Jesus and not just “play the game” but to be totally His.  Finally let us dare to be radical and counter- cultural and embrace our Catholicism like never before.  Then we will obtain riches, pearls and the Kingdom of Heaven.  Simply give it all to Jesus and it will be given unto you. Something to think on. May God richly bless all of you!

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