I went for a walk down Richardson Rd, Ponsonby yesterday in the sunshine thinking and praying about what to share with you today. I went past St Paul’s College and saw the statue of the Sacred Heart outside the chapel.
When we think of the ‘Treasure in the Field’ or ‘Pearl of Great Price’ featured in today’s Gospel from Matthew 13:44-46, Christ is that ultimate treasure. Our hearts long for and are restless for him. The statue invited me into that understanding.
The other side of these parables is that Christ is that someone who seeks us out and recognizes the treasure in us. To him we are that treasure in a field and pearl of great price. He gave his whole life to make us his own.
The kingdom of God is the recognition of our identity as beloved sons and daughters of God and in acknowledging that and recognizing that we see that gift and treasure in one another. That is why life from beginning to end is precious to us.
The treasure of who we are and of who others are has floors and imperfections. Sometimes we find it difficult to get past those in ourselves and other people and we fail to be signs of the kingdom. We can turn in on ourselves and other people.
Jesus reached out to the lost and rejected, he welcomed them, cured them, forgave them. He lived and radiated the kingdom. He challenged those who refused to see the goodness and dignity in other people. Jesus reaches out to us and invites us to do the same.
Occasionally I am asked to anoint a dying person at the Mercy Hospice and recently not long after we were in full lockdown, I was asked to anoint a dying woman. I entered the room and was welcomed by her 3 daughters who were very appreciative of my presence. The old woman was frail and unable to talk. I didn’t know her story or the kind of person she was. None of that mattered. This was her hour of need and she was soon to be with her God. I simply had a deep sense of God’s immense love for her and how precious she was as I anointed her forehead and hands. I believe the Kingdom of God was present in that room and that soon she would be experiencing the fullness of that Kingdom.
With this oil you are anointed
How precious you are
Receive the gift of peace and healing
And know you’re not alone
May the grace of this encounter
Pour out and touch those dear to you
For in your frailty and weakness
You speak to us now without words
The eyes that see you are the Saviour’s eyes
His wounded hands reach out in love
His voice the one your heart is hearing
Is calling to you without words
United in prayer we here surround you
How cherished you are
May our tears and presence here with you
Be a comfort to you without words
I am sure you can recall in your own lives images and experiences of the kingdom when you were struck by a profound sense of love and goodness. How would you complete the phrase, ‘The Kingdom of God is like…………?