Gospel Reflection- Wednesday (27 July) – 17th week of Ordinary Time – The value of the Kingdom of Heaven
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (13: 44-46) in which Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to hidden treasure and to a pearl of great value.
Fr Paul says these two little parables we hear today tell us that the followers of Jesus must be convinced that the Kingdom of Heaven is worth everything.
The feature that appears in both parables is ‘sell everything he owns’. We are told that demands of following Christ are absolute as we have seen so constantly in the Gospel; remember the person who was not allowed even to bury the dead but to come and follow Jesus.
Fr Paul says, if you combine this with the reluctance of the disciples to accept the message of suffering and their inability to understand that Christ can only enter his glory by suffering, we now enter into the world of the first generations of Christians. At that time, to become Christian might lose them their jobs; they might lose their friends; being Christian might lead to persecution from Jews or Romans. We know St Paul suffered from each of these groups on his journeys.
Mindful of this, Fr Paul says, the message of this Gospel is that the Kingdom of God is worth everything.