“..ask what you would like me to give you..” God’s invitation to Solomon, & now to you & I.. ..what is the one thing you would dearly love God to do for you, here & now, this weekend? ..& its coming true is dependent on the truthfulness openness & authenticity of your relationship with him..in thick & thin times, when you stood by him in his hour of need & you asked him..”ask what you would like me to give you” ..& what did he ask of you?.. “..give me a heart to understand..” ; Lord have mercy “..to discern between good & evil..” ; Christ have mercy “..a heart wise & shrewd..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
I am unsettled by all 3 stories Jesus tells; by the anonymous someone who finds treasure in field..treasure & a field belonging to someone else..he hides treasure, secretly covers it up & sells everything in order to buy field..is field sold to him at face value, an ordinary field at ordinary cost per acre?..or does he pay fair price based on its hidden underground resource? which would you hope for if you were the vendor? “ask what you would like me to give you” a heart wise & shrewd, or a heart slippery & cunning?..second story involves merchant..an agent who buys & sells..who instead of buying ultimate pearl of great price, will hopefully realise that its only real value is not to lock it securely in a safe deposit box but to risk sharing its beauty its sparkle, & thereby by ownership & reflection it’s owners beauty & sparkle, with others..a lifetimes discipleship of showing & sharing the pearl..a disciple each of us may know well..in terms of worldly wealth belongings status perhaps poor, perhaps seemingly spiritually impoverished, but in his spiriatul nomadic wanderings, open & willing to share a sighting of the precious & priceless with others..it is a radically different way of life & faith called discipleship..it is on offer to cross bearers & is denied to cross individuals.. ..the fishermen in third story are akin to worst kind of North Sea fishermen today..the sort Fisheries Protection vessels try to catch, to warn & eventually prosecute..a dragnet literally drags itself along sea bed & hoovers up everything; fish plants creatures & crustacheons..”a haul of all kinds” indeed..then, like fishermen in gospel, they sort chaff from wheat; prime fish boxed & iced ready for market..the rest remainder dross “those who are [labelled] of no use” are thrown back..by then lifeless ripped from fertile waters & seabed..the compassionate net used by fishermen of stewardship is called a “seine” net; it is pulled along behind trawler clear away & above the seabed in open water..it catches fish just fish..& size of its mesh carefully measured to catch mature sized fish & allow young undersized fish to escape out..stewardship conservation at its best..so how does each story relate to you & I in late July 2017?..the essence of our faith & its stories is that they are alive active & well as they emerge today as they were 2000yrs ago.. ..firstly, in every form of exchange & mart, buying & selling, we are involved responsible & called to honesty, authenticity & good Christian practice ..St Benedict encourages his monks to sell things a little cheaper “so that God may be glorified in everything”..you may want to quote me next time you go into our bookshop or look to discuss entrance fees for the College..its in Ch 57 !..secondly, in any business practice or profession, share the sight & beauty of your calling & its preciousness with others ; let your generosity & joy inspire others to aspire to your pleasure & example..thirdly, in harvesting of any kind, especially sowing young seeds, feeding fields of opportunity in life or in faith, practice wise stewardship..as the Jesuits used to teach us at School, every time we began a new class & put pen to paper, in top right hand corner of page we noted the abbreviation AMDG ..ad maiorem Dei gloriam..”for the greater glory of God”..& we signed off at end of class LDS ..laus Deo semper..praise God always”..a few pearls of wisdom from this householder, from me your Parish steward..”who brings out things both new & old”.. three stories well worth being unsettled by..on a weekend of two Baptisms..two cousins like first two cousins baptised; John the Baptist & Jesus of Nazareth..coincidence or the work of the Holy Spirit?..our cousins destined to be vendors merchants fishermen..not toe dipping into local Catholicism but full immersion..preparers of the way in the person of Christ..are we blessed or are we blessed?.. [ 17thSunYrA 13;44-52 ]