|St Paul Diego Velazques (1619)|
- Genesis 29:15-28 and Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128 •
- 1 Kings 3:5-12 and Psalm 119:129-136 •
- Romans 8:26-39 •
- Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
But he also thereby brilliantly illuminates the Gospel for today. The Lectionary has omitted some verses from the 13th Chapter of Matthew and in this way intensifies its rapid listing of short parables about the Kingdom of God. Jesus uses the different analogies he employs to impress upon his hearers – and upon us – this thought: when we sign up to Christian faith we are making a choice of the greatest significance. Initially it may seem a little thing, just as yeast makes up a very small part of the ingredients of a loaf of bread. Even so, it transforms all the rest. Similarly, faith that the world despite so many contrary appearances and experiences, is under the control of a personal and loving God, and that the humblest of us can be joyful participants in his kingdom, transforms life from the inside. It is like encountering a priceless treasure that is to be preferred to everything else we possess, or could hope to find.
|The Hidden Treasure - James Tissot|
Of course, to many people this Gospel is not new. Since they have grown up in the faith, been “trained for the kingdom of heaven”, sheer familiarity often causes them to lose the sense of its significance. Consequently, their task is to bring out of the treasure they have been given both “what is new and what is old”.
To gain or regain the gift of faith, however, is not to be given guaranteed protection against sickness and injury. Faith is not a kind of cosmic insurance. Rather, Paul tells us, it is to know that, whatever injustices, illnesses, and temptations befall us, “in all these things we are more than conquerors" provided we view them all "through him who loved us” -- and demonstrated it by dying for us.