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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13, 44-46

'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls;

when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel passage proclaimed to us offers a pressing invitation to welcome into our hearts the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven. The two parables show the determination, first, of a farmer and then of a merchant to sell everything to secure the treasure they discovered. In the first parable a farmer unexpectedly unearths a treasure in a field in which he is working. Since he does not own the field, he needs to buy it if he wants possession of the treasure. This need provokes his decision to risk everything he has so as not to miss this truly exceptional opportunity. The protagonist of the second parable is a rich merchant who deals in precious jewels and who recognizes with his expert eye a pearl of rare value at a market. He, too, decides to sell everything he owns to buy that pearl. Having made these unexpected discoveries, both make a decisive and clear decision. Certainly they give up everything they own, but what they gain is incomparable. The urgent series of actions they both follow reveals their intelligence and business acumen: each one finds the treasure, keeps it hidden, sells what he has and then buys it. And most of all, both express a very high interest in what they discovered, such that they willingly put everything else at stake to get it. What they sell has little value compared to what they buy. The Kingdom of Heaven warrants this industriousness and the sale of things less valuable. The Gospel message is very clear: nothing is worth as much as the Kingdom of God, for which it is worth leaving everything else behind. Moreover this choice is a smart one! On the contrary how often we quickly sell everything, even our soul, to possess whatever interests us—even if it is not worth much! The true issue is whether we really value the Lord and his friendship, and can appreciate the joy and fullness of life that God unexpectedly presents to us, as he did to the farmer and the merchant.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets