1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 Pss119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
Romans 8:28-30 Matthew 13:44-52
During the past several months, our new reality of experiencing life via “remote” provides us with a new lens that enables us to reassess the priority of our treasures in order to keep safe the things we hold dear.
I see and engage in this reassessment in my ministry with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Deaf priests and we pastoral ministers across the US and Canada rally together to prioritize the spiritual and emotional well-being of the communities we serve by offering our wealth—a daily menu of spiritual resources and Masses in American Sign Language. And as the Deaf Community signs on to YouTube and Facebook, they celebrate and rejoice at the opportunity they have in the treasure before them. In their ongoing quest for making sense of the impact of COVID-19 on our/their world, they act with “wisdom,” putting aside everyday busyness to focus on deepening their faith, their relationship with Jesus, and their ardent and hopeful prayer for a new world.
In the readings for this Sunday, God beckons to Solomon, “ask something of me, and I will give it to you.” In asking for a discerning heart, Solomon reveals that despite his youth, he possesses wisdom for understanding that things to be cherished go beyond our tangible desires. They are truly matters of the heart—the heart and justice of God. We also see wisdom being exercised in the Gospel by both the person who finds the treasure and the merchant—they do not seem to waste time lamenting the “losses” they will most likely incur by selling all. Instead, they joyfully focus on obtaining that which they cherish with a trust that it will secure their future. The fishermen likewise entertain wisdom, letting the things that are useless go free and focusing on preserving the valuable.
Exercising wisdom is, in reality, an exercise of hope. Perhaps the gift hidden within this terrible pandemic is the hope that we can view this time as an experience of Paschal Mystery. As we go about the work of reassessing our priorities, we are being given the wisdom of discernment not only to preserve that which we cherish but also to participate in contributing to bringing forth the new order of the heart—the justice that Jesus envisions for our world. Let us not be afraid to ask ourselves: Given this new way of being, what is emerging as the greatest treasures in our lives and for the benefit of God’s kindom? What are we willing to sell or cast aside to allow these treasures to flourish through each of us, perhaps in a new way? As we spend some time with these questions, may we open our hearts to wisdom and hope for a just world.
Sr. BarbaraAnn Sgro, OP