Heart or Treasure…or both?

Reflection for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time by FAN Director of Advocacy, Sr. Maria Orlandini

This reflection was originally posted in our July 24th newsletter

Treasure Chest1We are well into summer when many people are on vacation and others are just taking a break from the busy spring we had (and was it BUSY!!), maybe enjoying sitting on the front porch and doing nothing for once. As we hopefully enjoy a break, this week’s Scripture readings may help our reflection; God comes to help us as God always does. This Sunday we are faced with Scripture Readings that jolt me to attention. I believe they help us to look back at the past few months and get re-motivated for the months ahead. So what is the message that is speaking to me today?

In 1Kings, God speaks to Solomon in a dream and promises him anything he asks for. Solomon asks for “an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” If I had the same dream, would I be so ready to ask for what helps me to minister to people? Or would I think of myself—what I wish, what I need? What do I need the most today from God? Maybe an UNDERSTANDING HEART is a good wish to have, considering the situation in which we find ourselves in our country and the world at this time in history.

In his Letter to the Romans, Paul reminds us that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Here is a call for me to look at my heart and consider if I keep in my heart the purpose of my call. Yes, I am a woman religious who has vowed to follow Jesus and the example of St. Francis. Sometimes, though, in the heat of the moment I am tempted to respond to immediate situations in a way that does not show clearly that I am on Jesus’ side, that I have an understanding heart.

Finally, the Gospel of Matthew speaks to us of treasure, of pearls. The Responsorial Psalm seems to prepare the ground, mentioning a few times gold and silver pieces. I used to think that it would be nice to find a treasure, or to win a lottery, as I could help so many people with the “millions” I would get. How narrow the understanding of treasure can be! But of course Jesus is talking about a very different treasure, not made of gold, silver or fine pearls but a treasure buried in the field of my heart. My call, my purpose, as a follower of the Gospel is my treasure. My heart is the field that I should assure is in the right place. What am I willing to “sell with joy” in order to make sure I keep that field of an understanding heart?

Today when our world and nation are so divided, when it seems that we can talk only to those who think and look like us, we all need God to appear in a dream in which we can ask for an understanding heart that will allow us to find the treasure in the person who thinks differently, who looks different from ourselves. Consider it a pearl of great price to be able to be civil with these people at work, play, worship, and talk politics at the same time. So yes, the world needs Solomon, but it also needs each one of us, convinced of the purpose for which we are called.

Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF
FAN Director of Advocacy

Published in: on July 25, 2017 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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