17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020

Homily ·Ordinary time
By Archbishop Gomez
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
July 25, 2020


My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,1

Today’s passage of the Gospel continues to be from chapter 13 of St. Matthew’s Gospel. Our Lord is still speaking to us in parables as we just heard.

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field.” This is what he tells us today. And also, the kingdom of heaven is like “a pearl of great price.

Of course, my brothers and sisters, the treasure in the field is Jesus! And he is also the pearl of great price!

Today our Lord is calling us to reflect on our relationship with him.

When we discover Jesus, when we meet him and really know his presence in our lives, then we have all that we need. That’s what he’s telling us today.

The people in these parables today are so happy, they are so full of joy that when they find Jesus they go out and they sell everything they have. Nothing matters anymore except the love of Jesus.

And as we know, our Christian faith is not a set of rules that we follow or some customs and traditions that we observe.

Being Catholic is not something we do. It is somebody we are. And who we are is defined by our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our whole life — the meaning and the purpose and the direction of our life — it all comes back to this Person, Jesus Christ, who is truly human and fully and truly divine. So when we discover Jesus and let him into our life, then we hear him calling us to follow him and to become “a new creation.”

So my dear brothers and sisters, our faith in Jesus should be the most precious thing in our lives.

In today’s first reading, King Solomon is seeking the same thing as the two men in the parables today.

As I’m sure you noticed, Solomon doesn’t ask for riches of a lot of money. He doesn’t ask for good health or a long life. He doesn’t even ask God to take away his problems or the hardships in his life.

The treasure that Solomon seeks is “an understanding heart” — a heart that is open to God, a heart that is open to see God’s plan unfolding in the events of his daily life.

Solomon wants to know God, and God’s will. And this is what we all want, my dear brothers and sisters.

Jesus is the treasure that every heart seeks, your heart and mine. But I think it’s important for us to remember that we don’t just find this treasure once in our lifetimes.

Faith is a journey. Our faith is a way of life that we share with a divine Person, Jesus Christ.

We are people on a journey, this is who we are. It’s not about traveling to a different place, it’s about becoming a different person. It’s about becoming the person that Jesus calls us to be.

And this is the mission of his Church — to feed us and to nourish us and to instruct and guide us on that journey. This is why it’s so important for all of us to stay close to the Church, close to the sacraments.

Yes, we all know that we are living in strange times. But we will survive and we will thrive. The Church will come out of this moment, as she has survived under persecutions and plagues and pandemics in the past.

Just yesterday I had the joy of participating in a virtual gathering with more than 300 youths and young adults all over the country. It was National Intercultural Encounter for Ministry Youths and Young Adults journeying together.

All of them absolutely excited about their faith and their ministry, and with a great desire to be missionary disciples in this challenging time.

So, right now, I am more convinced than ever that God is asking us to purify our faith and look inside ourselves with a new honesty. It’s a time of preparation for a new beginning, in our own personal life and in the life of the Church.

But we need to ask ourselves: How are we doing and where are we at? Are we living the way Jesus calls us to live, in our relationships in our families, our homes, at work, in our communities?

And we need to ask for the grace to really open our hearts to that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Because we need to always keep seeking that treasure, that pearl of great price.

We need to keep living with Jesus Christ, seeking his face, like Solomon keep asking to know his will and his purpose in our lives.

Finally, in the second reading today, we hear that beautiful promise from St. Paul. St. Paul tells us:

We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,

That’s what it’s all about, brothers and sisters. To be conformed to the image of Jesus. He’s calling us to holiness and to be transformed in his image.

So, today, let’s ask for that special grace that Solomon asked for. An understanding heart. The grace to keep seeking the treasures of the kingdom, the pearl of great price.

Let us keep praying for one another and serving one another in this time when there is so much need.

Let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede for us and to help make her Son, Jesus Christ, the most precious treasure in our lives.

1. Readings: 1 Kings 3:5; 7-12; Ps. 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130; Rom. 8:28-30; Matt. 13:44-52.

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