July 30, 2017 - 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
What do you desire more than anything? What is the longing of your heart? Maybe you desire the Lord. Maybe you desire holiness. But maybe your desires are not so pure, not so chaste, not so holy.
Maybe we are poor and there is a longing for wealth. Maybe we have a poor self image or lack self confidence and we are longing for acceptance and popularity.
Maybe we are lonely and there is a longing for intimacy. Maybe we are weak and we are longing for power.
There are the things God expected Solomon to ask for: a long life, earthly riches and justice. We could understand if Solomon had asked for these things from the Lord. But Solomon asked for wisdom.
The readings ask us to examine our desires. Dealing with our desires can be a tough thing. On the one hand, we want what we want, we like what we like, we desire what we desire.
But on the other hand, our desires can become unruly. They can get out of hand. And when that happens, they begin to control us. Sometimes our desires are not so good. Sometimes they run amuck.
In Jesus’ parable, the characters have a desire for something that is very precious. And in both cases that something brings earthly wealth. Once you possess a pearl of great wealth or a buried treasure, you are rich by the world’s standards.
Jesus says that the Kingdom of Heaven is like this. So, the Kingdom of Heaven brings about earthly wealth? No, of course not.
The Kingdom of Heaven brings about heavenly wealth. The Kingdom of Heaven brings eternal life with God.
So, it seems to me that Jesus isn’t saying earthly wealth is bad. He is saying heavenly wealth is better, it is what our hearts should desire. It is something that should be sought after, like a pearl of great price or a buried treasure.
Do we seek the Kingdom of Heaven? Do we desire a closer walk with the Lord? What are some ways that we seek the Kingdom?
Ask something and I will give it to you, the Lord tells Solomon. What do we ask from the Lord?
Do we ask for wisdom? Do we ask for better control of our desires? How can we begin to tweak our desires? Do we ask for and long for the Kingdom of Heaven?
I may be poor and ask the Lord for wealth, but I cannot let that wealth control me. I may be insecure and ask the Lord for confidence but I cannot let that confidence become cocky or arrogant.
I may be lonely and ask the Lord for intimacy but I cannot let sexual prowess replace intimacy. I may be a victim and ask the Lord for justice against my enemies but I cannot let that justice become vengeance.
Dealing with our desires can be a tough thing. What do you desire most? What do you ask of the Lord?