THEME: God’s Will, the Highest Priority!

BY: Father Anthony O. Ezeaputa, MA.


A good teacher who wants to teach his students things they know little or nothing about always uses examples from the world around them to explain his teaching. This is what Jesus, the Good Teacher, has done over the last two weeks with the parables of the sower going out to sow, the weed growing among wheat, the mustard seed, and the woman baking bread. He speaks to us about the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the will of God, through these parables, or rather, the things around us.

In today’s gospel reading (Matthew 13:44–52), Jesus continues to use parables to provide insight into the Kingdom of Heaven, especially to make God’s will our highest priority. He demonstrates this teaching with the parables of the treasure buried in a field, the pearl of great price, and the dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds.

I would like to focus on the parables of the buried treasure and the pearl of great price. The parable of the dragnet is identical to that of the parable of the weed growing among the wheat (Matthew 13:24–43), which we reflected upon last Sunday.
They warn us against passing hasty judgment on others. Of course, judgment will be rendered, and the good and bad fish, the weed, and the wheat will be separated, but not by us and not now.

In the parable of the treasure buried in a field, a laborer was either digging or plowing and discovered a treasure, which was not unusual at the time. In ancient Palestine, there were no banks, so the only way to secure large amounts of money or valuables was to bury them. Besides, we read in Matthew 25:25 about a servant who buried the one talent given to him in the ground.

Sudden death, war, transfer of ownership, etc. could result in such treasures remaining hidden for centuries. In any case, it is assumed that the present owner of the land is unaware of the treasure hidden in his land.

While at his daily work, this laborer unexpectedly uncovers this treasure. He does not remove it from the ground right away because it would belong to the owner of the field. He must buy the field to benefit from the treasure. As a result, he sells everything he owns and buys the field and all the rights to everything it contains.

The fact that the laborer found the treasure while doing his normal daily work tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven can be found in the normal events of our lives. We can find the Kingdom of Heaven by being a good father, mother, grandparent, daughter, or son, or even by being a good citizen.

Also, just as the laborer sold everything to buy the field, the Kingdom of Heaven is worth any sacrifice to get into. It is also the desired response to the call to discipleship: “So they pulled their boats up on the shore, left everything, and followed him” (Luke 5:11).


In the parable of the pearl of great price, a merchant goes out of his way to find fine pearls. He has trained his eyes to be able to tell how much a pearl is worth. So, when he finds a pearl of great price, he sells everything he owns to buy it.

Other pearls, like more money, fashionable clothing, fancy cars, cutting-edge technology, acquiring education, careers, sports, and politics, serving others, and human relationships such as falling in love, marrying, and raising a family, among others, exist.

But there is only one “pearl of great price,” the acceptance of the will of God. It is the submission of our will to the commandments of God as expressed in the doctrines of the Catholic Church. It brings peace to our hearts, joy to our minds, and meaning to our lives (William Barclay).

If you read the parables of the buried treasure and the pearl of great price side by side, you will see that the laborer who finds the buried treasure is probably a peasant who works in a rich landowner’s field. But the pearl merchant is possibly quite rich. So, they tell us that the call to become a disciple is for everyone, whether they are rich or poor.

Also, the laborer found the treasure by accident while doing his regular work. But the pearl merchant was on the lookout for fine pearls. They tell us that the invitation to become a disciple may come out of the blue, as if by chance, or it may be something we have been looking for a long time through prayer, study, reading, asking questions, etc.

Finally, both men acted decisively and quickly. There is always the temptation to put off the call to discipleship. But they took advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself. They gave up everything to acquire what they wanted.

Dear friends, when you find the Kingdom of Heaven or the will of God for you, a decision must be made. It must be acted on immediately and wholeheartedly. But there is a price to be paid, which could involve letting go of all prior treasures, pearls, or ways of life. Let us pray that the Lord will grant us the grace to prioritize his will.


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