Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What are You Willing to Give For the Kingdom?

What Are You Willing to Give For the Kingdom?

August 1, 2012
Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church

By Colleen O'Sullivan

 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.”  (Matthew13:44)


O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
my merciful God!
(Psalm 59:18)


In today’s Gospel reading Jesus is speaking in parables describing the Kingdom of heaven.  He tells the disciples that God’s Kingdom is like a hidden treasure so precious and so enticing that we would sell or give up everything we have to make it our own.  When we commit ourselves to following Jesus, that’s precisely what we say we’re going to do; we’re going to give up everything for him.  We’re going to clear away anything that might distract us from the journey.

But when I look around, I see many people, including myself, doing just the opposite.  One of my friends at work, a committed Catholic, once got upset with me because I objected to contributing to a particular baby shower gift.  I thought a designer diaper bag that cost more than $250 was a little over the top.  She thought it was just the right thing.  Closer to home, one of my former roommates told me in all seriousness that her car was her status symbol.  I myself cleaned out my closets a couple of years ago when I realized they were so full I literally couldn’t squeeze my clothes in at the end of the day and I could barely pull something out to wear in the morning.  We may think we’re giving our all for the Kingdom, but our belongings, attitudes toward material possessions, and closets often tell another story.

No matter that God’s Kingdom is the greatest treasure of all, we seldom find ourselves willing to give everything we have for it.  Too many other things divert us, and in spite of our best intentions, our loyalties are divided. 


Always before us is the truth that Jesus gave everything, including his life, for us.  He willingly died on the Cross that our sins might be forgiven and that we might have eternal life with him.  He showers us with love, mercy and forgiveness.  In response, what one thing or attitude that keeps you from giving everything for God’s Kingdom could you relinquish today?

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