Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – A

25-27 July 2014
Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12; Rm 8:28-30; Mt 13:44-52

The Scripture readings this Sunday teach us of the need to give thanks to God for all his many gifts and for bestowing upon us his Kingdom in his Son Jesus Christ, and how we have to strive towards utilizing the benefits received from God for our good and the common good of all.

The great King Solomon encounters the Lord in a dream and in this dialogue with God, he first thanked God for having fulfilled his promise to his father David. Then he said that he is not worthy or intelligent enough to continue the mission of his father. Finally, he asked the Lord to grant him an understanding heart in order to do justice to the people under his care and to distinguish between good and evil. To have an understanding heart means to be open to the advice of the wise of the world, but above all to listen to the word of God and live by it. This remains the basic law of life. The requests of Solomon pleased the Lord and in his reply, he praised Solomon and gave him the gifts necessary to govern well, that is, a heart wise and understanding. All those who humbly acknowledge the gifts they have received from the Lord and seek how to be useful to him and serve him with these same gifts, the Lord provides with even more favours, an abundance of grace and new opportunities to serve him better.

St. Paul invites all believers to give thanks to God for the gift of our vocation and the fact that we are brothers of Christ and members of the Church. We know that all things work for good for those who love God. We know from our Christian experience that every good we do contributes to the common good of all. Every act of goodness, generosity, unselfishness, along with every sacrifice made for the good of someone in need, is like sowing the seeds of righteousness, goodwill and peace in the world that can only produce good results. Hence, those who love God, who have full confidence in him and accept him as their heavenly Father, who rely totally on his love, are able to see his love at work in this world that is always for the good of all.

In the parables of today’s Gospel Jesus illustrates some examples to describe the Kingdom of heaven. He compares the kingdom to a treasure hidden in a field, a precious pearl and a net that collects fish of every kind. The symbolism speaks volumes, but the essential message is that the Kingdom is a gift that God gives us, that we are to search for, desire and discover, the way we would seek a hidden treasure. Therefore, in order to live the fullness of life and reach the Kingdom of God, we should strive to be constantly united with the Lord who has revealed himself to us in his Son Jesus Christ. It is by leading good lives and serving God through our neighbour with a sincere, wise and understanding heart that we reach Christ the Lord who is our true, everlasting treasure.

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