The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jose Rizal Santos SVD (Japan)
Wednesday Week 17 Ordinary Time, Ex 34:29-35, Mt 13:44-46
Based on the Vatican II Weekday Missal, today‘s Gospel contains two short parables. Each one teaches the absolute importance of God‘s kingdom over everything this world has to offer.
It is so amazing how the Lord uses parables to teach the Kingdom of Heaven, if only to bring to our human consciousness our lifetime dream for human fulfilment and ultimate success in life. It is not to reduce our ordinary perception of the deep mystery of God‘s Kingdom but to cater it to every human being with normal quest for eternal salvation under ordinary circumstances in life.
Treasure hunting is fun and could cost all the fortunes any man can aspire or achieve. But the Kingdom of Heaven is more complex than treasure hunting. In an equivalent manner is the servants‘ search for fine pearls.
Certainly, the Kingdom of heaven is far more precious and costly than any material, physical and psychological thing in life. Rather it is something that comprises all our efforts and perseverance to reach the ultimate aspiration of our human life, that is, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The classic and illustrious example of this search for the ultimate is the life of the honoree of today‘s feast — St. Ignatius of Loyola. After being wounded as a soldier, he founded the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits to resist Protestantism in his time and pioneered in the missionary apostolate as well as in the education ministry.
In religious institutions today, he is known for his “Spiritual Exercises” in religious formation and spiritual renewal programs. One of the trademarks of his tradition is his deep loyalty to the Papacy.