Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Take a moment and look around you. What is most valuable in your sight?
When faced with major events and problems of our life – be it health, relationships, loss – I would bet that very few of us would concentrate on material items of “value.” I can’t remember a single funeral or memorial where someone stood to offer a eulogy and said, “I wish I’d had more money.” No – most often, the comments are about the time spent with one another, and then the call to “Tell people you love them while you have the chance.”
We, as a people, have forgotten that time waits for no-one. We have shifted from an outward focus to one that looks primarily at ourselves… We’ve turned away from the people around us and in our lives, and instead, we’ve directed our focus squarely on ourselves and our agenda.
I’ve seen scores of kids (and adults alike) together at amusement parks or in restaurants, but none of them interacting with each other. No treasures of laughter, smiles, or even just enjoying a “Hey – look at that over there.” Mostly it’s all heads down, staring at their screens.
Or on the road. Drivers staring at their devices instead of focusing on driving well. No treasure of protecting themselves or the other people driving or walking – better check email instead.
Or in our living rooms. The treasure of time spent sharing ourselves with the people we love has been replaced by any number of attractors which have significantly less worth.
In living this way, at the end of our day, we can look back and see how we’ve missed the most amazing opportunities to meet God, for the Lord comes to us in the face of every person and in every encounter. The people we love, those we’re called to love, those who love us, and those who don’t even know they love us – we all hold a treasure of untold value, for they, and you & I, are the vessels which bring the love of God to each other.
So, look around again – this time in your heart.
What would move you to sell absolutely everything?
What is your treasure?
Now, go and tell them – for when you say “I love you” to one of God’s children, you say “I love you” to God..
Peace and love to you today, and forever.
Paul Puccinelli is Director of Liturgy & Music at St. Rita Parish in Sierra Madre, California, and a member of the retreat team at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center.