Found Your Treasure?

Antonio P. Pueyo
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
July 24, 2005
Reproduced with Permission

In the mountains where I say monthly mass, there are many talks of finding lost treasures. People would whisper that this person has become rich because of finding a World War II treasure left by the retreating Japanese army. There are talks of Golden Buddhas in caves and gold bricks found in the fields. There are talks of maps and secret codes. I add my two-bit worth to these stories by sharing the tale of a classmate of mine who brokered the sale of treasures that a farmer found while plowing his field. When I personally asked him about it he just smiled.

Treasure hunting stories so fascinate us that they are favorite themes in movies and television shows. They also fascinated people during the time of our Lord. In a time when there were no banks, people would resort to burying their treasures, especially in times of war. The audience of our Lord Jesus could easily connect with his story of a man who found buried treasure in his field. Everybody has a fantasy of finding treasure. Very rare are the occurrences of finding them.

Jesus gives a new twist to the story by comparing the treasure to the kingdom of heaven (Mt.13:44). He also added another story about a man who discovered a very valuable pearl he was searching for. In both instances, the finder sold everything he had in order to obtain the field and the pearl. In both stories, one could feel the excitement and the joy of the discoverer. When we feel so excited and joyful and so full of life, it is because we have become involved in something of great value for us. As Our Lord Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart is" (Lk. 12:34

In more recent terminology, we have found our "bliss". The question is, what makes you excited and alive?

Many things could excite us and make us feel so alive. Falling in love is one experience of being alive. A person becomes our bliss. A project or a hobby close to our heart can also make us feel alive . The task becomes our bliss. We get a sense of meaning in getting involved in the work. We become so preoccupied with the person or the work at hand that time flies so fast and other things become unimportant. Whenever I work on an article, for example, I reach a state of "flow" and I donŐt stop until I finish the article. I would delay meals when this happens. The same could be said for painters, scientists, mechanics, and friends in deep conversation.

Do we also get excited about God and His kingdom? Do we get excited about the works and activities of the Christian community?

I have seen many people who exhibited this bliss in different ways: the man who comes to mass every morning, the woman who brings flowers to our Lady's altar every Saturday, the small group who would visit the SAD (sick, aged, and dying) every First Friday, the peace advocate who visits war zones, the lay leader who has been conducting weekly bible services for his village the past 25 years, the young people who enthusiastically sing in the parish choir, the lone figure I see in front of the Blessed Sacrament as the day ends, the young couple who bring their child to the sanctuary to pray after the Sunday mass.

There are so many of them who have found the buried treasure in the field. God fascinates them. God's work excites them.

Action starter: What is your bliss? How can you serve God in your line of interest?