Discussion:
[Goanet] [JudeSundayReflections] Seventeeth Sunday of the Year
Jude Botelho
2008-07-21 21:26:16 UTC
Permalink
20-Jul-2008
?
Dear Friend,
?
Both children and adults enjoy stories of hunting for hidden treasures and fantasies of discovering priceless objects. Many of the novels and movies cater to this kind of adventure fiction. But we know that these kind of treasures are discovered only in dreams not in day-to-day reality, or is it? Today we are reminded that faith itself is a treasure hunt and we can discover a real treasure: God. Both the journey to God and the finding of God are rewarding beyond measure. Join the adventure! Have an exciting weekend discovering the many god-given treasures strewn along the daily way of life! -Fr. Jude?
?
Sunday Reflections: Seventeenth Sunday of the Year ??? ?The real treasure of my life???????????? 27-July-2008
Readings: 1 Kings 3: 5-12;??? ??????????? Romans 8: 28-30;?????????? ??????????? Matthew 13:44 -52;
???????? ?? ??????????? ??????????? ???
Today?s first reading from the first Book of Kings speaks of wisdom and the model placed before us is Solomon the wise. In the Jewish tradition wisdom meant philosophical speculation. In the Old Testament tradition, on the other hand, wisdom was much more simple, it included a practical know-how of various areas of life as well as the knowledge of God and of good and evil. Today?s reading tells of how Solomon acquired wisdom through a dream in which he prays for wisdom. ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, do you want health and wealth for yourself?? ?No, Lord.?? ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, do you want power over your enemies?? ?No, Lord.? again. ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, what do you ask for?? ?Give me Lord, a discerning heart.? The strength of a good king is within the heart?. for the kingdom is within us. But if the heart?s centre no longer holds, then all falls apart.
?
Discernment -Balance
Once the great St. Anthony of the desert was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised to see Anthony relaxing and rebuffed him for taking it easy. It was not his idea of what a holy monk should be doing. Anthony replied, ?Bend your bow and shoot an arrow.? And the hunter did so. ?Bend your bow and shoot another arrow,? said Anthony. The hunter did so again and again. The hunter finally said, ?Abba Anthony, if I keep my bow always stretched, it will bread.? ?So it is with the monk,? replied Anthony. ?If we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break. It is right from time to time to relax our efforts.? Wisdom has been described by the Franciscan preacher, Richard Rohr, as the ability to hold opposites together in balance.?
Brian Cavanaugh in ?The Sower?s Seeds?
????????????????
In the second reading from St. Paul?s letter to the Romans, this week?s reading forms a transition from the uncertain side of human and Christian existence to the glorious destiny that awaits the redeemed. Paul refers to a religious maxim well-known among the Jews: ?We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.? He then bases this maxim on the reality of his Christian experience. It is not just pious make-believe to say that everything will turn out all right in the end; it is an assurance based upon what the believers have already experienced from God. In other words, Christian hope is not for something totally different from what we already have, but the ultimate result of our faith life in Christ.
?
All things will be well?..
Henry Ford was an American motor manufacturer. He pioneered large-scale motor production. He is the founder of the Ford Motor Company. A man who went to interview him, was surprised to find him calm and serene. The interviewer asked him, ?Sir, are you not worried in your life? So many problems you have to face everyday? so many workers you have to deal with. Don?t you feel the strain on yourself?? Henry Ford replied, ?No! I am not worried. I believe that God is managing the affairs and He doesn?t need my advice. With God in charge, I believe that everything will work for the best in the end.? All things work for good for those who love God.
This is a prayer that was written by a prisoner: ?I asked the Lord for a bunch of fresh flowers, but instead He gave me an ugly cactus with many thorns. I asked the Lord for some beautiful butterflies, but instead he gave me many ugly and dreadful worms. I was threatened, I was disappointed, I mourned. But after many days, suddenly I saw the cactus bloom with many flowers, and those worms became butterflies flying in the spring wind. God?s way is the best way.?
John Rose in ?John?s Sunday Homilies??


The purpose and intent of today?s gospel is to speak of the kingdom of God as the supreme value to be preferred to all else, as a person who has found a treasure hidden in a field, or a merchant who has discovered a precious pearl, who is ready to do anything or give up everything in order to posses what he or she desires. God alone is the treasure to satisfy the heart?s deepest yearning. Happy are those who discover this treasure and are willing to pay the full price demanded. Today?s gospel calls us to be passionately in love, ready to risk any challenge and dare anything in the pursuit of what we earnestly desire. Two of Jesus? parables today make that point: the parable of the hidden treasure and that of the finding of the precious pearl. They differ from the other parables of the kingdom. Today?s parables are addressed to the individual. In both sets of parables, the person sells all he has. Both demand renunciation, risk and commitment.
The emphasis is not so much on the pain of renunciation as on the supreme value of the reward: the reign. As usual the parables of Jesus stress only one point: the chance of a lifetime is to discover the reign of God, which one should pursue at any price. Whereas the treasure was found accidentally, the pearl was found after a lifetime of diligent search. But the point is the same, readiness to give up everything for the joy of obtaining the desired object.
?
Stumbling on treasure
In the spring of 1947 a Bedouin shepherd named Muhammed the Wolf was shepherding his goats on the western shore of the Dead Sea. One of the boy?s goats had strayed and to follow it he had to climb a steep cliff. Passing a cave in the rock face, he threw a stone inside; and when he heard the sound of breakage he became frightened and ran back to his friend. Together they returned and entered the cave. Inside the cave they found several large jars: inside the jars, wrapped in length of linen, was one of the greatest of modern archaeological discoveries: the Dead Sea scrolls. The two shepherds had stumbled on a marvellous treasure, but they did not realize it. They tried to sell the scrolls in Bethlehem to a merchant, but he refused to give them the twenty pounds they were asking for. It wasn?t until four scrolls came into the hands of the Syrian patriarch in Jerusalem and three scrolls were smuggled out of the country to the United States that the
treasure trove came to light. Like the two Bedouin shepherd boys, we may have problems appreciating our find wrapped in the ordinary stuff of life. The real treasure of life is under our noses ?in the people we share life with, in the opportunities we face every day to exercise the values of Jesus. None of these might appear a glittering prize, but it is in the heart of the ordinary that we discover the presence of Jesus. He is the authentic article. He is the hidden in the common place, hoping that we?ll stumble on that truth before long.
Denis McBride in ?Seasons of the Word?
?
Treasure Hunt
Most of us have read the story of Treasure Island. We are still fascinated by the adventures of such characters as Jim Hawkins, Billy Bones and Long John Silver. Many of us have been fascinated too, by the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequel Indiana Jones. Such movies appeal to our childhood fantasies about treasure hunts. This is what today?s parables appeal to: our capacity to search for treasures. The two parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price are different in the sense that the treasure is found by chance in a field, whereas the pearl is located after a deliberate search. But their theme is the same: the tremendous joy someone has when he discovers a hidden treasure or a priceless pearl. This joy is so overpowering that it dominates all his feelings and thoughts. This joy is so overwhelming that it ceases the person completely and penetrates his innermost being.? This is the way it should be with the kingdom of God.
Our discipleship for Christ should be like the adventure of a treasure hunt. Like the adventures of Jim Hawkins or Indiana Jones, it should be mysterious, exciting and full of risks.? If our discipleship is like the adventure of a treasure hunt, then why do we find it dull and tedious sometimes? Perhaps because we don?t have enough faith to see the mystery and excitement that is there.?
Albert Cylwicki in ?His Word Resounds?
?
While the first two parables speak of the excitement of finding a hidden treasure or a discovering a priceless pearl, the parable of the fishing net reminds us of the great mixture of all types of peoples who serve and express the kingdom of God on earth. Unlike other precious stones, the pearl originates in a living thing, a speck of foreign matter that has found its way inside the shell. Often in life we try to get rid of the irritants that come our way. But perhaps the unexpected has its place in our life. When we are ready to accommodate the disturbances and unpleasant happenings in our life and believe that God wishes to do something through that very happening, we are opening ourselves to the God of surprises. Instead of the stranger being rejected, it is wrapped in ?swaddling clothes?, nurtured, and, in the end, becomes precious beyond wildest dreams. In the third parable the fishing net pulls in a surprise catch of the good and the not so
good. The time of separation of the good from the bad is not yet, for the boat is still at sea. While storms of criticism are blowing and our boat is full of all kinds, what is most needed is balance and wisdom, and the ability to discern between good and evil. All are invited to the kingdom of God, the strong and the weak, the friend and the stranger, for we are on a journey that by grace will not end in punishment but in glory.
?
Union of Opposites
What I love about the Church which calls itself catholic is the great wisdom which has maintained the balance between port and starboard, left wing and right wing, progressive and conservative, first world, second world and third world. In one sense the church is not of this world and great souls have been inspired to withdraw from the bustle of the city into the desert, monastery or convent. Yet this same church is the salt of society and the light of minds, educating, advancing the sciences, mothering the arts, pioneering hospitals and every sort of caring service.? This unworldly church is full of understanding and compassion to the sinner. A letter on the sacredness of life, condemns all that is contra ?the inception of life: yet it pleads for a compassionate understanding of the pressures and fears and difficulties which couples may face. The ideal of monogamy and faithful love is upheld: yet the church will be deeply involved in the support of
deserted spouses and in the care of the victims of Aids. Even those who suffer because they did not follow the church?s code will find that same church now supporting them in their need, like a mother who warns the child of danger and is the first to pick up the child who did not heed the warning. The church preaches perfection but makes an industry out of imperfection. It deals with the realm of faith beyond reason, yet it asks its priests to be trained in logic and the principles of reasoning. It fears the body and its appetites, yet it regards the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. In the church I find there is room for all my contradictions and contrary tensions. I can be at home here with my elements of body and spirit, virtue and vice, laughter and tears, rest and activity, growing and dying. It is a pearl beyond price: yet it is a dragnet with a vastly varied assortment of members.
Sylvester O?Flynn in ?The Good News of Matthew?s Gospel?
?
May we discover the most precious treasure of life within us and around us!
?
Fr. Jude Botelho
judebotelho at niscort.com

PS. The stories, incidents and anecdotes used in the reflections have been collected over the years from books as well as from sources over the net and from e-mails received. Every effort is made to acknowledge authors whenever possible. If you send in stories or illustrations I would be grateful if you could quote the source as well so that they can be acknowledged if used in these reflections. These reflections are also available on my web site www.netforlife.net?Thank you.


From Chandigarh to Chennai - find friends all over India. Go to http://in.promos.yahoo.com/groups/citygroups/
Jude Botelho
2008-07-21 21:26:16 UTC
Permalink
20-Jul-2008
?
Dear Friend,
?
Both children and adults enjoy stories of hunting for hidden treasures and fantasies of discovering priceless objects. Many of the novels and movies cater to this kind of adventure fiction. But we know that these kind of treasures are discovered only in dreams not in day-to-day reality, or is it? Today we are reminded that faith itself is a treasure hunt and we can discover a real treasure: God. Both the journey to God and the finding of God are rewarding beyond measure. Join the adventure! Have an exciting weekend discovering the many god-given treasures strewn along the daily way of life! -Fr. Jude?
?
Sunday Reflections: Seventeenth Sunday of the Year ??? ?The real treasure of my life???????????? 27-July-2008
Readings: 1 Kings 3: 5-12;??? ??????????? Romans 8: 28-30;?????????? ??????????? Matthew 13:44 -52;
???????? ?? ??????????? ??????????? ???
Today?s first reading from the first Book of Kings speaks of wisdom and the model placed before us is Solomon the wise. In the Jewish tradition wisdom meant philosophical speculation. In the Old Testament tradition, on the other hand, wisdom was much more simple, it included a practical know-how of various areas of life as well as the knowledge of God and of good and evil. Today?s reading tells of how Solomon acquired wisdom through a dream in which he prays for wisdom. ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, do you want health and wealth for yourself?? ?No, Lord.?? ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, do you want power over your enemies?? ?No, Lord.? again. ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, what do you ask for?? ?Give me Lord, a discerning heart.? The strength of a good king is within the heart?. for the kingdom is within us. But if the heart?s centre no longer holds, then all falls apart.
?
Discernment -Balance
Once the great St. Anthony of the desert was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised to see Anthony relaxing and rebuffed him for taking it easy. It was not his idea of what a holy monk should be doing. Anthony replied, ?Bend your bow and shoot an arrow.? And the hunter did so. ?Bend your bow and shoot another arrow,? said Anthony. The hunter did so again and again. The hunter finally said, ?Abba Anthony, if I keep my bow always stretched, it will bread.? ?So it is with the monk,? replied Anthony. ?If we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break. It is right from time to time to relax our efforts.? Wisdom has been described by the Franciscan preacher, Richard Rohr, as the ability to hold opposites together in balance.?
Brian Cavanaugh in ?The Sower?s Seeds?
????????????????
In the second reading from St. Paul?s letter to the Romans, this week?s reading forms a transition from the uncertain side of human and Christian existence to the glorious destiny that awaits the redeemed. Paul refers to a religious maxim well-known among the Jews: ?We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.? He then bases this maxim on the reality of his Christian experience. It is not just pious make-believe to say that everything will turn out all right in the end; it is an assurance based upon what the believers have already experienced from God. In other words, Christian hope is not for something totally different from what we already have, but the ultimate result of our faith life in Christ.
?
All things will be well?..
Henry Ford was an American motor manufacturer. He pioneered large-scale motor production. He is the founder of the Ford Motor Company. A man who went to interview him, was surprised to find him calm and serene. The interviewer asked him, ?Sir, are you not worried in your life? So many problems you have to face everyday? so many workers you have to deal with. Don?t you feel the strain on yourself?? Henry Ford replied, ?No! I am not worried. I believe that God is managing the affairs and He doesn?t need my advice. With God in charge, I believe that everything will work for the best in the end.? All things work for good for those who love God.
This is a prayer that was written by a prisoner: ?I asked the Lord for a bunch of fresh flowers, but instead He gave me an ugly cactus with many thorns. I asked the Lord for some beautiful butterflies, but instead he gave me many ugly and dreadful worms. I was threatened, I was disappointed, I mourned. But after many days, suddenly I saw the cactus bloom with many flowers, and those worms became butterflies flying in the spring wind. God?s way is the best way.?
John Rose in ?John?s Sunday Homilies??


The purpose and intent of today?s gospel is to speak of the kingdom of God as the supreme value to be preferred to all else, as a person who has found a treasure hidden in a field, or a merchant who has discovered a precious pearl, who is ready to do anything or give up everything in order to posses what he or she desires. God alone is the treasure to satisfy the heart?s deepest yearning. Happy are those who discover this treasure and are willing to pay the full price demanded. Today?s gospel calls us to be passionately in love, ready to risk any challenge and dare anything in the pursuit of what we earnestly desire. Two of Jesus? parables today make that point: the parable of the hidden treasure and that of the finding of the precious pearl. They differ from the other parables of the kingdom. Today?s parables are addressed to the individual. In both sets of parables, the person sells all he has. Both demand renunciation, risk and commitment.
The emphasis is not so much on the pain of renunciation as on the supreme value of the reward: the reign. As usual the parables of Jesus stress only one point: the chance of a lifetime is to discover the reign of God, which one should pursue at any price. Whereas the treasure was found accidentally, the pearl was found after a lifetime of diligent search. But the point is the same, readiness to give up everything for the joy of obtaining the desired object.
?
Stumbling on treasure
In the spring of 1947 a Bedouin shepherd named Muhammed the Wolf was shepherding his goats on the western shore of the Dead Sea. One of the boy?s goats had strayed and to follow it he had to climb a steep cliff. Passing a cave in the rock face, he threw a stone inside; and when he heard the sound of breakage he became frightened and ran back to his friend. Together they returned and entered the cave. Inside the cave they found several large jars: inside the jars, wrapped in length of linen, was one of the greatest of modern archaeological discoveries: the Dead Sea scrolls. The two shepherds had stumbled on a marvellous treasure, but they did not realize it. They tried to sell the scrolls in Bethlehem to a merchant, but he refused to give them the twenty pounds they were asking for. It wasn?t until four scrolls came into the hands of the Syrian patriarch in Jerusalem and three scrolls were smuggled out of the country to the United States that the
treasure trove came to light. Like the two Bedouin shepherd boys, we may have problems appreciating our find wrapped in the ordinary stuff of life. The real treasure of life is under our noses ?in the people we share life with, in the opportunities we face every day to exercise the values of Jesus. None of these might appear a glittering prize, but it is in the heart of the ordinary that we discover the presence of Jesus. He is the authentic article. He is the hidden in the common place, hoping that we?ll stumble on that truth before long.
Denis McBride in ?Seasons of the Word?
?
Treasure Hunt
Most of us have read the story of Treasure Island. We are still fascinated by the adventures of such characters as Jim Hawkins, Billy Bones and Long John Silver. Many of us have been fascinated too, by the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequel Indiana Jones. Such movies appeal to our childhood fantasies about treasure hunts. This is what today?s parables appeal to: our capacity to search for treasures. The two parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price are different in the sense that the treasure is found by chance in a field, whereas the pearl is located after a deliberate search. But their theme is the same: the tremendous joy someone has when he discovers a hidden treasure or a priceless pearl. This joy is so overpowering that it dominates all his feelings and thoughts. This joy is so overwhelming that it ceases the person completely and penetrates his innermost being.? This is the way it should be with the kingdom of God.
Our discipleship for Christ should be like the adventure of a treasure hunt. Like the adventures of Jim Hawkins or Indiana Jones, it should be mysterious, exciting and full of risks.? If our discipleship is like the adventure of a treasure hunt, then why do we find it dull and tedious sometimes? Perhaps because we don?t have enough faith to see the mystery and excitement that is there.?
Albert Cylwicki in ?His Word Resounds?
?
While the first two parables speak of the excitement of finding a hidden treasure or a discovering a priceless pearl, the parable of the fishing net reminds us of the great mixture of all types of peoples who serve and express the kingdom of God on earth. Unlike other precious stones, the pearl originates in a living thing, a speck of foreign matter that has found its way inside the shell. Often in life we try to get rid of the irritants that come our way. But perhaps the unexpected has its place in our life. When we are ready to accommodate the disturbances and unpleasant happenings in our life and believe that God wishes to do something through that very happening, we are opening ourselves to the God of surprises. Instead of the stranger being rejected, it is wrapped in ?swaddling clothes?, nurtured, and, in the end, becomes precious beyond wildest dreams. In the third parable the fishing net pulls in a surprise catch of the good and the not so
good. The time of separation of the good from the bad is not yet, for the boat is still at sea. While storms of criticism are blowing and our boat is full of all kinds, what is most needed is balance and wisdom, and the ability to discern between good and evil. All are invited to the kingdom of God, the strong and the weak, the friend and the stranger, for we are on a journey that by grace will not end in punishment but in glory.
?
Union of Opposites
What I love about the Church which calls itself catholic is the great wisdom which has maintained the balance between port and starboard, left wing and right wing, progressive and conservative, first world, second world and third world. In one sense the church is not of this world and great souls have been inspired to withdraw from the bustle of the city into the desert, monastery or convent. Yet this same church is the salt of society and the light of minds, educating, advancing the sciences, mothering the arts, pioneering hospitals and every sort of caring service.? This unworldly church is full of understanding and compassion to the sinner. A letter on the sacredness of life, condemns all that is contra ?the inception of life: yet it pleads for a compassionate understanding of the pressures and fears and difficulties which couples may face. The ideal of monogamy and faithful love is upheld: yet the church will be deeply involved in the support of
deserted spouses and in the care of the victims of Aids. Even those who suffer because they did not follow the church?s code will find that same church now supporting them in their need, like a mother who warns the child of danger and is the first to pick up the child who did not heed the warning. The church preaches perfection but makes an industry out of imperfection. It deals with the realm of faith beyond reason, yet it asks its priests to be trained in logic and the principles of reasoning. It fears the body and its appetites, yet it regards the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. In the church I find there is room for all my contradictions and contrary tensions. I can be at home here with my elements of body and spirit, virtue and vice, laughter and tears, rest and activity, growing and dying. It is a pearl beyond price: yet it is a dragnet with a vastly varied assortment of members.
Sylvester O?Flynn in ?The Good News of Matthew?s Gospel?
?
May we discover the most precious treasure of life within us and around us!
?
Fr. Jude Botelho
judebotelho at niscort.com

PS. The stories, incidents and anecdotes used in the reflections have been collected over the years from books as well as from sources over the net and from e-mails received. Every effort is made to acknowledge authors whenever possible. If you send in stories or illustrations I would be grateful if you could quote the source as well so that they can be acknowledged if used in these reflections. These reflections are also available on my web site www.netforlife.net?Thank you.


From Chandigarh to Chennai - find friends all over India. Go to http://in.promos.yahoo.com/groups/citygroups/
Jude Botelho
2008-07-21 21:26:16 UTC
Permalink
20-Jul-2008
?
Dear Friend,
?
Both children and adults enjoy stories of hunting for hidden treasures and fantasies of discovering priceless objects. Many of the novels and movies cater to this kind of adventure fiction. But we know that these kind of treasures are discovered only in dreams not in day-to-day reality, or is it? Today we are reminded that faith itself is a treasure hunt and we can discover a real treasure: God. Both the journey to God and the finding of God are rewarding beyond measure. Join the adventure! Have an exciting weekend discovering the many god-given treasures strewn along the daily way of life! -Fr. Jude?
?
Sunday Reflections: Seventeenth Sunday of the Year ??? ?The real treasure of my life???????????? 27-July-2008
Readings: 1 Kings 3: 5-12;??? ??????????? Romans 8: 28-30;?????????? ??????????? Matthew 13:44 -52;
???????? ?? ??????????? ??????????? ???
Today?s first reading from the first Book of Kings speaks of wisdom and the model placed before us is Solomon the wise. In the Jewish tradition wisdom meant philosophical speculation. In the Old Testament tradition, on the other hand, wisdom was much more simple, it included a practical know-how of various areas of life as well as the knowledge of God and of good and evil. Today?s reading tells of how Solomon acquired wisdom through a dream in which he prays for wisdom. ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, do you want health and wealth for yourself?? ?No, Lord.?? ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, do you want power over your enemies?? ?No, Lord.? again. ?Solomon, as your greatest wish, what do you ask for?? ?Give me Lord, a discerning heart.? The strength of a good king is within the heart?. for the kingdom is within us. But if the heart?s centre no longer holds, then all falls apart.
?
Discernment -Balance
Once the great St. Anthony of the desert was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised to see Anthony relaxing and rebuffed him for taking it easy. It was not his idea of what a holy monk should be doing. Anthony replied, ?Bend your bow and shoot an arrow.? And the hunter did so. ?Bend your bow and shoot another arrow,? said Anthony. The hunter did so again and again. The hunter finally said, ?Abba Anthony, if I keep my bow always stretched, it will bread.? ?So it is with the monk,? replied Anthony. ?If we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break. It is right from time to time to relax our efforts.? Wisdom has been described by the Franciscan preacher, Richard Rohr, as the ability to hold opposites together in balance.?
Brian Cavanaugh in ?The Sower?s Seeds?
????????????????
In the second reading from St. Paul?s letter to the Romans, this week?s reading forms a transition from the uncertain side of human and Christian existence to the glorious destiny that awaits the redeemed. Paul refers to a religious maxim well-known among the Jews: ?We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.? He then bases this maxim on the reality of his Christian experience. It is not just pious make-believe to say that everything will turn out all right in the end; it is an assurance based upon what the believers have already experienced from God. In other