An Understanding Heart

Peace and all Good.

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your prayers for all our Friars here at the Mission. We were in quarantine for more than a week, and thanks to God, we all come out negative. We have also started our outdoor Masses in our beautiful St. Michael’s Courtyard. We had low attendance for the English Masses, but I pray that our parishioners will come back to worship together and celebrate our Eucharist.

Outdoor Mass

Today’s first reading from the Book of I Kings is Solomon’s prayer as he begins his reign. He prayed for an understanding heart so that he could reign well. I wish that it can be our prayer, not just for today, but for every day in our lives, as we face our reality, we continue trusting that by observing God’s commands we will be led to wisdom.

Then the Gospel tells us more parables about the kingdom of God. The themes of today’s parables are about hidden treasure and an exquisite pearl. The emphasis in both parables is on how the lucky finders responded to what they found. They knew the value of their find was greater than all their other possessions. Jesus is telling us that the kingdom of heaven is worth more than all we possess. Everything we possess has an expiration date stamped on it. God’s kingdom, however, will last forever. Church history reveals that many believers have paid dearly to hold on to their faith. We call them martyrs. Most believers don’t become martyrs, but we do simply live the life of faith as Jesus taught. Those who keep the faith are better spouses, better parents, better sons and daughters, better persons in society. They have a better attitude about the future and are better human beings. So, what is better? To hold on to our temporary possessions, or to trust that the hidden treasure —or the pearl— is the real treasure that gives us life everlasting? In order to get the hidden treasure, or the pearl (the Kingdom of God), we need to sell everything, come with empty hands, and God will give it to us freely.

May the Lord give you peace.

Fr. Oscar