17th Sunday in Ordinary Time 26th July 2020

 1Kings 3:5,7-12, Romans 8:28-30, Matthew 13:44-52

“It all depends on where you are coming from.”  “It depends on your point of view.”  We trot these words out so glibly and casually, but in these days of pandemic they must mean so much more. We are all in the process of both coming and going, coming from months of restrictions, fear, vulnerability, horror at the statistics of death and disease. Where we are going we are not quite sure. We continually adjust our point of view.

In today’s Gospel the kingdom of heaven is likened to a field in which is hidden treasure, to a pearl of great price, to a haul of a wide variety of fish. It is about what we value, what we are prepared to do for what we value. It is about establishing priorities, making decisions, making choices. In these months of living with Covid 19 our values, our priorities, have frequently been up-ended, leaving a sense of disorientation. Our sense of certainty, security, judgement, all have to be questioned. What is the meaning of our existence? Where is God in my life? Where is God in the midst of the injustices we see and hear about? Why do the poor and underprivileged suffer more yet again in these tragic days? What have I contributed to those around me? Is my attitude: I’m alright, Jack? Our focus has almost inevitably narrowed to the day-to-day inconveniences we are experiencing. We could be in danger of missing the “big picture.”  The wonderfully generous and kind things undertaken by so many people to alleviate suffering and to lighten our hearts must not be forgotten. Hopefully they have been such a formative experience that these virtues become part of daily life. We cannot ignore the words of Christ, that we must be like householders, bringing out from our storerooms things both new and old. For all this we need the wisdom which Solomon asked for in today’s first reading. We need hearts that are wise and shrewd.

In this photo of St. Dominic the message is clear: we may be masked but we are not silenced:  the preaching must go on! The “big picture” extends far beyond a virus. Our reflection on today’s gospel cannot be confined to our present difficulties. The pearl of great price, the treasure in the field, the sorting out of the contents of daily life into the good and the useless, these parables of the kingdom of heaven are there to guide us in our daily lives, whether we are living in time of pandemic or in what we have always presumed to call normal time



Dominic, Light of thr Church, Preacher of Grace

Sr Lucina Montague OP



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