In the last few years, I have attended three family weddings, and each time, someone has commented on the couple’s facial expressions during the ceremony. Often, they have used the word “radiant” to describe the couple’s faces as they spoke their vows to each other.
In today’s first reading from Exodus, we hear that Moses’ face became radiant “when he conversed with the Lord.” Moses was face to face with God. Like the newlyweds, he was face to face with Love.
When we are aglow with love, we do things that under other circumstances would be impractical or even impossible, things considered sacrificial. Jesus speaks of this in today’s Gospel. In Jesus’ parables, a person searching for fine pearls finds one, and sells all they have to purchase the pearl. We hear about another person who finds a treasure in a field, “and out of joy goes and sells all they have and buys that field.” Out of joy, Jesus says…. Selling all is not a sacrifice for the people in these parables; it is simply letting go of everything for the sake of the relationship that is valued above all else.
Moses risked his life, endured long periods away from his family, and was often misunderstood by his own people—all for the sake of his relationship with Yahweh God.
Newlyweds do not know what the future holds, and joyfully enter the unknown together;
even though their commitment may be tested by illness, financial misfortune, misunderstandings, and loss.
Today’s readings bring some questions for us to ponder:
- For what or whom would I joyfully “sell all”?
- How wholehearted am I in my commitment as a disciple of Jesus?
- What do I need to let go of, in order to live more joyfully and wholeheartedly?
Patty Gillis is a retired Pastoral Minister. She served on the Board of Directors at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit. She is currently a member of the Laudato Si Vision Fulfillment Team and the Passionist Solidarity Network.