Sunday, July 26
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 13: 44-46
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Many people enjoy television shows like “Antiques Roadshow” or “American Pickers.” I think a major part of these shows’ enduring popularity is that vicarious thrill of finding out that a garage sale purchase or inherited piece of kitsch is worth thousands of dollars! What looks like worthless junk to the layman is recognized by the astute eye of a long-time antiques dealer and appraiser as being a priceless heirloom.
Something that had been festooned with cobwebs and dust in an attic or the corner of an old barn quickly finds itself ushered into the museum, the curated personal collection, or the environs of a historical home. There it can be seen by eyes that truly appreciate its value, by people well-versed in the subject who can recognize it for what it truly IS, rather than what it appeared to be. The cost of transportation, of restoration, or display mounting—these costs are gladly incurred because the appreciator of antiques knows they are insignificant amounts in contrast to the value of the historical piece itself.
Our Catholic faith is old–really old– and in certain places it has been relegated to a forgotten corner or out-of-the-way place. People snicker at how out-of-date, out-of-touch, and obsolete it appears to their eyes. But for one with the eyes of faith, the priceless treasure of Christ can be seen underneath the surface dust and grime.
In wine, in antiques, a little age is a good sign, yet another indication that what is underneath is quality, it was built to last, and it has survived the passing of fads, and years, and generations, and centuries. And when it comes to the great treasure of the Catholic Faith, we should rejoice in the fact there is a little dust on this most priceless vintage.