What and where is your treasure?


What and where is your treasure?

The word treasure has many connotations and its meaning, while having an objective definition in a dictionary, is different for each person.

In the first reading, young Solomon, as he assumes the throne of Israel, asks God for the gift of wisdom. God offers any gift that Solomon desires – power, victory over his enemies, fame, fortune would seem to be the obvious request by a king. Rather, Solomon asks for what he treasures most – the gift of wisdom. Solomon is quite aware of his youth, his inadequacies, his need for God’s help and guidance. Unfortunately, as the history of Solomon unfolds, he gives in to the political structures of his time and embraces power that enables him and Israel to remain independent.

Jesus describes the kingdom by telling parables of people discovering treasure – how they are willing to give up all that they have in order to gain a certain treasure, how they sort through their “catch” to keep the good and throw out the worthless. In the case of the first two parables, the treasure “glitters” – it is a fortune, whether gold and silver or a fine pearl. The third parable is more practical – the treasure is fish; the good ones so necessary as food for survival. In every case, the individual values the treasure, and we assume in the case of the first two, does everything possible to hold on to the treasure. Perhaps we might question the purpose of obtaining the treasure – does the treasure benefit others, or is it a prize that is hoarded?

We have been given many treasures; life, talents, family, friends, faith, community…and the list can go on. The Word today challenges us to reflect on these treasures. Do I really value what God has given me? What is my attitude toward these gifts? How do I use these gifts, these treasures? St. Paul reminds us often in his letters that the gifts given to us are for the building up of the body; they are not solely for our own good, but shared with us for the good of all. A gift or treasure that is hoarded or used for selfish gain is merely glitter, a false treasure and Lord knows there is a lot of fool’s gold in our world today. As disciples, we are called to use our gifts, our treasures in a way that benefits others as well as ourselves. Jesus shows us the way in his interactions with the people he meets on his journey, in the words that he speaks. We, in turn, are called to walk together with our sisters and brothers, building up the kingdom and ensuring that each person we encounter experiences the love of God in the encounter.

By Richard Beaudette, OMI
Vocation Team – East