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Finer Than Gold

“The law of your mouth is to me more precious

than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”

From Sunday’s Psalm 119:72

What would you ask for if God promised to grant your wish? Many are noticing that the Mega Millions Jackpot is over 820 million; so is a financial windfall something you would ask for? Would it be for a better job or health? Would it be to find happiness? In today’s first reading from I Kings 3:5, 7-12, the newly minted King Solomon surprises the Lord by not asking for a long life, or wealth, or bad things to befall his enemies, but instead he asked for wisdom and understanding to guide him as he undertakes the overwhelming prospect of overseeing so many people and so vast a land entrusted to him. The Lord commends Solomon and promises that no one before or after would be as wise as he.

Psalm 119 echoes Solomon’s intent when we hear that God’s commands are finer than gold and more precious than any glittering material object of worth. Two of the three parables in today’s Gospel from Matthew 13:44-52 deal with finding one’s treasure: that found in a field and a fine pearl. In both cases, once the treasure or pearl is found, all is sold to purchase it. This reveals a single-mindedness that is required when we find our pearl of great price, the gift of our faith. It takes courage to put our trust not in the material things of life or markers of success but rather in things that are not visible: faith and hope and charity. However, being people of faith, we know that ironically the things that are eternal are precisely those that are not visible, and it is wiser to place our hope in God than in things that can pass and fade. We pray that we may search for the wisdom that God can give us and be single-minded in our desire to leave all behind in search of God’s kingdom

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