I received a beautiful pearl necklace for my 21st birthday and I wore those pearls often and loved them. They now sit in a little container, waiting to be re-strung and worn again all these years later. Those pearls still hold great meaning and memory for me. There is a sense of joy, then, at reading this weekend’s Gospel and considering the discovery of a true pearl of great beauty which has a far deeper meaning behind the words.
The man described in Matthew’s Gospel, was in search of substance and made a wise and real choice in his life. He recognised the true worth of his discovery and sold all he owned for the beautiful pearl he found, obviously valuing it much more than his worldly goods. Similarly, the other person described in this Gospel found treasure in a field and, to own it honestly, sold all he had to buy the field in which the treasure lay. These people went away from their discovery to consider how they could respond and later returned having made the commitment to give their all for what they had found.
The grace of the pearl and of the treasure was not a cheap and short-lasting joy but one that cost dearly and one for which the people were willing to give everything. The pearl and the treasure represent God’s kingdom. Nothing can truly compare to this treasure which is able to give rich and lasting meaning to life and hope for the future. Having discerned the treasures of the kingdom, it is then incumbent upon that person to share the joy of this discovery with others. We have been given the freedom to make choices in our lives, including choices that reflect the values of God’s kingdom.
What will we choose? To show love for others, to stand for justice and to choose to make a difference in the world? Our choices show what we are willing to do for God, to give glory to God’s kingdom. May we always choose wisely.