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.
This one line from the gospel made me think in mass this morning. Actually one part of the line stood out in particular.
out of joy
The person finds a treasure which is so valuable he not only sells his possessions to receive the treasure but he sells his possessions out of joy. It is not a pain, or a bother for him to sell his belongings. He does not do it because of a responsibility or a duty. He does not sell his possessions because someone is forcing him to or because he feels it is the right thing to do. He sells his possessions out of joy. He sees such a joy in that treasure that he can joyfully sell everything that he has to obtain that one treasure. He knows that this treasure is more valuable and will bring him more joy than all of is other possessions.
What could this treasure be that it could cause him to joyfully sell all his belongings to obtain it? It is the kingdom of heaven! Jesus is teaching us that the kingdom of heaven is so great that it is above anything that we could have on Earth and that it should bring us joy to reach the kingdom of heaven.
I know that I often miss the message of this parable, especially the joy part. When we have an opportunity to grow closer to our Lord and closer to heaven we are instructed to joyfully take it even if it means giving up some other things. Often times I find it hard to find time to pray. I know I should pray and I know if I spent a little less time watching tv or woke up a little earlier I would have time to devote to prayer. But I am often unwilling to make these simple sacrifices to grow closer to the Lord. I feel that this parable is telling me that the time that I spend in prayer is worth so much more then the time that I spend watching tv. It is worth so much more and is so great I should be joyful to have the chance to spend some time in prayer. I should view the time I spend serving the Lord as a joy so great that nothing on Earth can compare.
Dear Lord, Help me to take joy in my service to you.