Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Saint Matthew 13:44-52.
by Daily Gospel | Source: Daily Gospel
1st book of Kings 3:5.7-12.

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you."
O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?"
The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him: "Because you have asked for this--not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right--
I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.

Psalms 119(118):57.72.76-77.127-128.129-130. 

My portion is the LORD; I promise to keep your words.
Teaching from your lips is more precious to me than heaps of silver and gold.
May your love comfort me in accord with your promise to your servant.
Show me compassion that I may live, for your teaching is my delight.

Truly I love your commands more than the finest gold.
Thus I follow all your precepts; every wrong way I hate.
Wonderful are your decrees; therefore I observe them.
The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple.

Letter to the Romans 8:28-30.

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, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:44-52.

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. 

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. 

When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. 

Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous 

and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Do you understand all these things? They answered, "Yes."

And he replied, "Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old."

Commentary of the day
Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Commentary on St Matthew's Gospel, 10, 9-10; GCS 10, 10-11 (©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

The pearl of great price

To the seeker after fine pearls may be applied the words: «Seek and you will find,» and, «Everyone who seeks will find» (Mt 7,7-8). If you ask what is to be sought, and what will be found by everyone who seeks for it, I say with all confidence: pearls - especially that pearl which will be acquired by those who give their all, who sacrifice everything for it, the pearl Paul meant when he said: «I have accepted the loss of everything in order to gain Christ,» (Phil 3,8). «Everything» means beautiful pearls; «to gain Christ» refers to the one pearl of great price.

Admittedly, a lamp is precious to people in darkness, and they need it until sunrise. Precious too was the radiance on the face of Moses (2Cor 3,7) - and I believe on the faces of the other prophets also. It was a sight of beauty leading us to the point of being able to see the glory of Christ, to whom the Father bore witness in the words: «This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,» (Mt 3,17). But «compared with this surpassing glory, what formerly was glorious now seems to have no glory at all,» (2Cor 3,10). We need at first a glory destined to be outshone by an «all-surpassing glory», just as we need the partial knowledge which «will be superseded when that which is perfect has come,» (1Cor 13,9f.).

Thus everyone beginning to live a spiritual life and «growing toward maturity,» (Heb 6,1) needs tutors, guardians, and trustees until the «fullness of time» (Gal 4,4) arrives for him, so that after all this, he... may on his emancipation receive his patrimony. This patrimony is the pearl of great price, and «the coming of what is perfect to supersede what is imperfect» (1Cor 13,10) when, after acquiring the forms of knowledge, if we may call them so, which are inferior to knowledge of Christ, one becomes able to understand «the supreme value of knowing Christ,» (Phil 3,8). Yet many do not understand the beauty of the many pearls of the Law and of «the partial knowledge» scattered through all the prophets; they wrongly think that, without having fully understood the Law and the prophets, they can find the one pearl of great price...: the full comprehension of the gospel and the complete understanding of the acts and words of Christ Jesus.

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