Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Readings of the Day
RB: 49 The Observance of Lent
Mass: Ex 34:29-35; Resp Ps 99; Mt 13:44-46

From the pillar of the cloud God spoke to them; they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.

In a phone conversation yesterday, a beautiful and lively woman of faith on the other end of the line was telling me about her business. She has a photo booth. Not a booth exactly but a screen that changes colors, all digitalized, with props for the people to wear; hats and glasses and things. You know what I am trying to describe. You've had your photo taken at wedding receptions, birthdays, and other celebrations. I knew from how this woman came across on the phone that she was not only very good at her job, but she enjoyed it. I said, "I bet you get people to have their photo taken that didn't know they wanted their photo taken!" What she then told me came as no surprise, but something that saddened me nonetheless. So many people do not like the way they look. In the photo they see only what they consider to be flaws. The photographer hears things like, "Can you remove my double chin?" or "I am so fat." or "Can you take the picture again?" or "I look so old." Why is it that so many of us, yes us, have such a bad image of ourselves? Nothing is right. We are too fat, too lazy, too you name it.

I share this story with you as I relate it today's Gospel. Jesus tells the disciples that the Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field. A person finds the treasure and hides it again, then out of joy with her discovery, she sells all she has and buys the whole field. Jesus presents the parable another way. The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. He finds the pearl of great price, then goes and sells all he has to buy it. I think some of us have just not discovered the treasure, the pearl of great price that is within each of us. Every story is different. We carry wounds, baggage, pain, and carry crosses of all kinds. The burden can be heavy; we are crippled by the load. All of our "stuff" gets in the way of seeing the gift that each one of is. Every single one of us is made in the image and likeness of God. Let us pray for one another today. Let us ask St Ignatius of Loyola to intercede for us. That we receive the graces we need to discover the gem inside of us, the light of Christ loving us and encouraging us to expand our hearts and let Him love us as He does. Jesus loves every one of us, unconditionally, without exception. He showers His mercy upon us. We see flaws. Jesus sees only the treasure of a fine pearl that is in you and in me. 

Ad majorem Dei gloriam.


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