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Scripture reflections: The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field

 |  24 July 2017

Lectionary Readings

First reading: 1 Kings 3:5,7-12

Psalm: Psalm 118(119)

Second reading: Romans 8:28-30

Gospel: Mathew 13:44-52

Link to readings.

Introduction

This week’s readings lead us to reflect on the priceless treasures of wisdom, faith, and the Kingdom of Heaven itself.

In the First Reading, Solomon does not ask for great honours or luxury goods, but simply for a discerning heart so that he can govern his people wisely. God willingly grants his request.

The Psalmist resolves to find the Lord and his love through obedience to his Law and his Word.

In the Second Reading, Paul assures the Romans that God will turn everything to their good as he co-operates with all those who love him. Their faith will not be in vain. They will share his glory.

Finally, the Gospel illustrates what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, using four short parables to help us reflect and understand what the Lord offers us.

This week, then, I might want to spend some time considering God’s great gifts to us of faith and wisdom. How do they help me bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth for the people around me, especially for those who are searching for the Lord?

First Reading

1 Kings 3:5,7-12

I come to my place of prayer, giving time and space to still my busy-ness, and come more consciously into the presence of the Lord. It may help me to slow down if I take a number of gentle deep breaths.

With an open mind and open heart, I read through the passage slowly, a number of times. Certain word or phrases may grab my attention.

Perhaps my imagination helps me to enter into the story and meet the Lord and Solomon: I see the room, I hear their voices, I listen to what they say.

I consider how I would respond to the Lord if he asked me that question:‘What would you like me to give you?’ I communicate with him freely in my own words, and listen for his response.

I may be struck by the humility of Solomon. I ponder and reflect how humility is active in my life today. Solomon would like to be a ‘servant leader’. I may want to ask myself what opportunities I have to be a servant leader in my life. I finish my prayer thanking the Lord for being with me and saying ‘Our Father…’ slowly and prayerfully.

Gospel

Matthew 13: 44–52

In a place where I like to pray, I take a deep breath and try to slow down. Perhaps I repeat a favourite phrase such as:‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening’.When I am ready, I read today’s Gospel passage prayerfully, maybe more than once. I ponder.

The treasure was found by accident, while the merchant was actively looking for the pearl. When I reflect on my faith and the riches it has brought me, do I identify with the one who found this treasure unexpectedly, or with the one who did a lot of searching first? I speak to the Lord about this and I listen to him.

Perhaps, in my imagination, I see the fishermen hauling a net full of all kinds of fish, but also plastic bottles, and other flotsam and jetsam. Is that the image I have of the kingdom of heaven?

How do I feel at the prospect of the fishermen sorting the contents of their catch: anxious, threatened, or trusting in the Lord’s absolute love for me? When the Lord asks me:‘Have you understood all this?’, what response do I make? To conclude my prayer,  I may want to simply say:‘Thy Kingdom come’.

 

Reflections based on Prego by St Bueno's Outreach in Diocese of Wrexham

 

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