Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memorial of Nunzia, a mentally disabled woman who died in Naples; with her we remember all the mentally disabled people who have fallen asleep in the Lord

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 proclaimed to us is an insistent invitation to welcome the mystery of the kingdom of heaven in our hearts. The two parables illustrate the decision of the peasant and of the merchant to sell all that they have and wager everything on the treasure they have found. The first parable deals with a man who accidentally finds a treasure in the field where he is working. Since the field is not his own property, he has to buy it in order to get the treasure. Hence the decision to invest all that he has not to waste the really wonderful chance. The protagonist of the second parable is a rich merchant, probably an expert in pearls, who has found in a bazaar a pearl of great price. He decides to wager everything on that pearl, so much so that he sells all that he had. The choice to sell everything is clear and decisive; the purchase is incomparable with the two unexpected discoveries. The discovery requires an important and keen sense of business that is revealed in the restless sequence of the actions of the two men: each of them finds, hides, sells and buys. Above all, the discovery is so valuable that it is worth risking everything for it. Whatever is sold is insignificant compared with what is bought. The kingdom of heaven is worth this labour and the sale of less precious items. The message in the Gospel is evident: nothing is as worthy as the kingdom of heaven; it is worth investing all that we have. Moreover, such a choice is wise. How often we are ready to sell everything, even our soul, in order to get what we care for that is of little worth! The point is: if we really care for the Lord and His friendship and we can understand the joy and fullness of life unexpectedly offered to us, as the peasant and the merchant effectively show. We often believe that the Gospel imposes a renunciation, a sacrifice, and makes heavy and impersonal demands. On the contrary: thanks to the Providence of God, to find the Gospel is to find the most precious treasure in our life, and so, out of joy, we hurry to sell all that we have. We are afraid to lose the treasure and are ready to do whatever is needed to get it, because we need that treasure which is exactly what we were looking for. This is indeed the joy hidden in the words of Jesus: “Follow me.” This is the most precious treasure that leads us to the fullness of life and gives us all that we need!