Gospel Reflections

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:44-52

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Jo Threlfall

Published: July 27, 2014

Meditation: God’s limitless love

Today money and power have become the greatest treasure that people wish to possess. We seem to live at a very superficial level thinking only of our own material needs. But there is more to life than instant gratification. We have lost sight of the greatest treasure offered to us in the Gospel message that we read today.

Here are three examples of people who are trying to acquire the treasure that they really value.

First the man who could not afford to buy the treasure that he knows is hidden in the field nearby, but he very cleverly decides to buy the field and then will become the owner of that great treasure. Although the cost of the field probably stretched his finances to the limit he knows that it will be worth it. In the same way God offers us the greatest gift of himself- his great love and our redemption; but asking of us only our total generosity, love and service in our life time. God knows that we could never pay the full price for the life that he gives us.

In a similar way, in the second parable the man sold all that he had so as to acquire a priceless pearl. Pearls were extremely valuable and an indication of great material wealth; something people would set their hearts on having. Knowing God’s great love for us is the greatest treasure that we can we can find, far greater than any pearl of great price. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells the people that they should not cast pearls before swine because of their great value (Matt 7:6).

Then we hear a story of fishermen casting their huge trawl or drag-net into the sea to gather in large quantities of all types of fish and lots of rubbish as well. This is a lovely image of God’s boundless love for all people who are invited into his loving embrace. The story continues to tell us that the fishermen sort out the good from the bad. We know that God has no favourites but not all want to accept his invitation.

We cannot stand on the sidelines and just observe the action; have we understood the message?

  • Is God and his Kingdom the greatest treasure of my heart?
  • Is my treasure shared with others?

Thought: “Those he called heed and with those he justified he also shared his glory.... With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give.” --Romans: 8:30-32 (NRSV)


We hold a treasure, not made of gold,
In earthen vessels, wealth untold;
One treasure only: the Lord the Christ
In earthen vessels.
He has chosen the lowly
Who are small in this world
In his weakness is glory,
In Jesus the Lord. (Hymn by John Foley SJ- based on 2 Cor. 4:7)



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