Missionary Weekly Reflection
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 26 July 2020
1King. 3:5,7-12; Ps. 119:57,72,76-77,127-128,129-130; Rom. 8:28-30; Matt. 13:44-52 (long) Mat. 13:44-46 (short)
A labor who had routine work and was busy, coincidentally found a treasure hidden in his employer’s field. Out of joy he sold all he had, and bought the field, so he could own the treasure. The joy of discovery! The Kingdom of God can be found in routine, even accidental work and planning. Why? Because through Jesus, the kingdom of God comes to human as a present, a free gift. This is different from the experience of a merchant. It is his job as a pearl seeker. In the end, he found what he dreamed of: a pearl of super duper quality. He then sold all his assets to buy the pearl. So, the kingdom of God is also found by those who actively seek it. Today Jesus teaches me that: in one way or another, God’s Kingdom can be found and bring joy to anyone. There is no standard pattern on how to find it. The experience of faith is always unique and personal, it does not need to be the same or uniform.
However, searching and finding are only half of the achievement. After finding, we have to continue with making a choice. That also means to be dare to lose in order to achieve. Finding the Kingdom of God is so amazing and exciting that a disciple will definitely risk of leaving everything he considers valuable. Joy in finding will also result in joy of choosing. As in married couple: he/she is not unhappy due to many options having been left behind, instead he/she is happy for finding the most loved of his/her choice.
The story of the fishing net continues the subject of the parable about “weeds & wheat” last Sunday. The church is like a “big net” that catches various kinds of fish. There are many kinds of people, with different quality and commitment. The present is a time when believers are gathered, before they are separated later. The net must be fully filled, before the good fish is collected and bad one (not edible or unclean) is discarded. Obviously this refers to the last days, when God Himself will separate the bad from the good.
This is Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of God. Only His disciples can understand it. Why? Because they are able to explore the treasure of their Jewish traditions (“old treasure”) while continuously learning from Jesus who teaches and presents the Kingdom of God in the world (“new treasure”). The evangelist Matthew is an example of “successful” disciple. In his gospel he successfully combined the superior elements from the treasure of Jewish tradition with a critical attitude and new teachings from Jesus. Not surprisingly, the gospel of Matthew comes first in the New Testament canon.
To end the whole collection of “Sermons in Parable” (Matt. 13), today’s Gospel invites you and me to become true disciples of Jesus. The disciples who experience and believe that the Kingdom of God is so highly valued that they are willing to sacrifice anything to become its people. That is the way the disciples live their life and go on pilgrimage in this world. Not by passively waiting or busy judging, but in searching and finding Him joyfully in everyday life, and ready to give up everything for Him.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Family integrity: May the families today do not feel alone for they will always find love, appreciation and guidance that are required to keep the family united. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Human resources: In terms of increasing human resources that is declared by the government, may Catholic educational institutions find the means in preparing the students to face the challenges in millennial era. We pray…
We ask for the blessing to our people in educational sector in achieving the education of justice in every level. We pray…