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September 2005 

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The parables of the treasure and of the pearl



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The parables of the treasure and of the pearl
Mathew 13, 44-47

The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field and found by a man: he hides it again, and full of joy, he sells all his belongings to buy this field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man seeking for good pearls. When he had found one pearl of great value, he then sold all that he had to buy it.
la richesse Often comments of these parables insist on the necessary renouncement to chose the kingdom of heaven. One has to sell, to abandon his wealth to reach to the kingdom. 
Wealth is even presented as an obstacle to enter into the kingdom. This is only one aspect of the parable that could repulse many. On the contrary we could notice the joy and the eagerness of these two people in purchase of the thing of a greater value than what they sell without regret. In fact they made the balance, if they get rid of all they owned, it is because they are largely reimbursed. It is their interest that governs their attitude. It is far from a disinterested renunciation.

To come to such a balance sheet, we have to know the value of the things. These two men searched and found. 

connaître la valeur

The kingdom of heaven is not given without research, without the desire to have more, without passion for it. There is a kind of ambition already there in us. In fact if the treasure in the field has been "discovered", it is because it was there since a long time without us knowing it, the same thing for the precious pearl. It is an invitation to find out such a precious pearl in our life. Where I am living, there is a treasure and I have no idea of it. As soon as it is recognized as a treasure or a pearl of value, nothing else can compare to it. No sacrifice is necessary to approach it but only the desire that it produces. No renunciation but a huge joy that transforms every thing. This kingdom, described by Jesus only with parables because it is difficult to define, becomes immensely desirable.
Beside its interest, there is in the choice to acquire the discovered fortune, a little bit of craziness', an extravagance of collector in front of a rare piece, a frenzy of gold hunter. We have to see in these two stories how these men hurry to make the necessary arrangements to obtain what they wish. Maybe it is the achievement of the goal of their life, towards the most and the best that is happening. An opportunity that cannot be missed.

la pleinitude The kingdom is not given though mortification neither through asceticism but through jubilation and completeness, now and not later.  
We have to resist making Christianity a religion of sadness and sacrifice to reach happiness. It is in a passionate search and the discovery of what is the only true good that the kingdom is given with fullness.