Reflections 30th July 2017

A Reflection for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mt: 13:44 - 52 ( )  

Some time ago I was talking to the family at a funeral. The sister of the deceased told me that her brother who had had a very successful career had never really wanted to do the job he had done. That is so sad, I said. ‘Yes’ she added, ‘he always wanted to be an engineer but dad, who wanted him to have a secure job, wouldn’t hear of it; so my brother did his studies and spent his life doing what our father wanted him to do.’ 

Many people today are stuck in jobs which they stay in to pay the bills and the mortgage but their heart is not in it.

Recently I met two older men, both retired a short time earlier. Now they were discussing what they would do, with all the new freedom that retirement brought, with money coming in every month but no responsibilities!! One had bought himself a new car and was very proud of it, and the two of them had gone to the seaside to enjoy the drive and then the walk along the sea.  The driver was talking all the time about all the new features of the car while his companion just listened. Then while they were on their walk they saw a very run-down shack and the silent one said, ‘There are lots of possibilities in that shack. First, we can get our mates to come and clean it up, put in a decent bathroom and let our various grandchildren come and play as the sea is so near’.

The Gospel today tells us of the man who found a pearl of great value in a field, and bought it. He clearly saw the possibilities of other finds, whether pearls or other valuables. Finding a field or a career which is going to be fulfilling is exactly what the Kingdom of God is all about, being a fulfilled and happy human being and spreading this happiness around. Finding an activity or a hobby which gives a person deep fulfilment is what the Gospel is telling us, to put all our energy and time into what really will give us long-term satisfaction, spreading the reign of God, helping others to see what God can offer and helping others to have a similar vision, being altruistic and generous with one’s time.

Buying the pearl of great value or the field is a story to inspire us to discern what is really important and then set our minds on going after that, and the returns are ‘out of this world!’ 

Pat McNamara C.S.Sp. – Fr. Pat worked for many years in Brazil before returning home to minister to Brazilian migrants working in Ireland. He later served in Bolivia, and is now back in Brazil with over a dozen other Irish Spiritans.