Recently someone asked me if I could ever leave the priesthood for a profession where I would earn 10 times more than what I receive in the church; and I replied that I would not be able to give up the treasure of the vocation to which God has called me for any amount of money. It fills me with joy to be one of his priests and to have the opportunity to bring human beings closer to Him.
Today we hear two very short parables:
In the first, someone finds a buried treasure. The person leaves it buried and sells absolutely everything to buy the field where the treasure is buried.
In the second, a wealthy merchant finds the most beautiful pearl he has ever seen. Same story. He wants that pearl so much that he sells everything to buy it.
We can imagine a poor farmer working in the field, with a shovel in his hand and by accident, just beneath the surface he hits something hard, uncovers it, and it’s a wooden box with a treasure in it. We can also imagine a wealthy merchant who travels all over the world, looking for some pearls and one day suddenly he sees a pile of pearls and suddenly he recognizes a magnificent pearl worth a fortune.
The Parable of the Treasure and the Parable of the Pearl have the following in common:
- The act of selling everything in order to acquire it.
The difference is that the treasure was found by chance, whereas the pearl is the fruit of the merchant’s effort and active search. It is interesting to emphasize that they both sell everything for the joy of knowing their value and that they are willing to pay their price. The treasure and the pearl in the parables are the Kingdom of God. The farmer and the merchant are like the disciples, who left everything to follow Jesus (4:18-22; 19:27-30) and like Paul, who considered everything trash in order to have the knowledge of Christ (Phil 3:8).