A special thank you this week to our friends The Women’s Guild of St. John DeLaSalle, Chicago and St. Benedict’s Parish, Chicago in the congregation.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It seems to me there’s a little bit of a difference in those two parables that we heard today. In the first parable, it seems that the farmer fell upon a treasure and went and sold everything and bought that land and had the treasure.

But in the second parable, the merchant was seeking out the pearl of great price. In the second parable, the merchant was actively searching for that which he believed to be the most finest, the best, the most extravagant. The merchant was really seeking for something in particular. Something very specific. Something he had his heart set on.

I imagine if we think about that for ourselves and our journey of faith. What do we seek out? So we might grow closer and closer to Christ Jesus? Do we seek out, in terms of our regular prayer, do we seek out our generosity to those around us? Do we seek out being great servants to those who are in need? Do we seek out the poor? Do we seek out anybody who might be grieving? How do we seek out actively to grow closer to Christ so that we might inherit the kingdom of paradise?

I also think we have to remember where we seek. It turns out there’s another king. We heard about the great elevation of King Solomon in the first reading today. But I want to talk about another king. He was very wise and had a very good heart, this king. He lived in an extraordinary palace and he had a great chapel where he prayed.

As he continued on his journey, he was surrounded by the finest of everything. The finest gold and the finest cups and the finest marble and the finest everything. He didn’t find himself growing very close to God. In fact, he couldn’t find God. He had everything you could ever want, but he couldn’t find God.

Until one day, he heard a wise man up on the roof of his house. Of his palace. He heard a wise man up there rustling around. Rustling around. Rustling around. So it woke up the king, and the king got up and looked to the wise man and said, “What are you doing up there?” And the wise man said he’s looking for his goat.

The king thought to himself, “Why are you looking for your goat on the roof of my palace?” The wise man said to the king, “Why are you looking for God inside this luxurious palace? You want to find God? Go outside. Meet the people who are grieving. Meet the people who are poor. Meet the people who are in pain. Meet the people who are in need of your service. Then you will find God.”

I think our invitation today of the gospel, our invitation for today is to actively seek out the kingdom of God. And then remember that we’ve gotta go into those places where we’re going to find it. You know, of course there’s great comfort in our own home. How do we go to our neighbor? How do we seek out our neighbor and tend to our neighbor? Or the person at church or our family members or those who are in need? Seek the kingdom of God. And it might mean going outside yourself to do it.