“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.” (Matthew 13:44)
I am attached to many things: possessions and people; future dreams and desires; how I think people see me, and how I want them to see me. Some attachments can be very good, and some as experience and faith teach us are harmful. In today’s passage, Jesus is saying the Kingdom of Heaven is accessible here and now, and it is worth giving everything up for. When that seems risky, frightening, and even irresponsible, it’s okay to sit with Him in prayer and ask, why? What am I afraid of losing? Do I trust You, whom I am letting go for?
God in His perfect, attentive, and fierce love for us is revealing more about Himself and how we’re called to live. If the man sells all he has in joy, then what he has found must satisfy even more his desires and needs. This first parable of treasure reminds me to see and hold all the attachments in my life properly; without a fear of letting go in case this is as good as it gets. Without grasping for control of what I think is good or I need now. Without striving in perfectionism, to live up to the perceptions I want to have of myself, or for others to have of me.
Included in the treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven is this freedom, taught in the repeated finding that what He gives, teaches, and how He loves is the most valuable thing our hearts can seek. When we are like the man who has found the treasure, we can ask God to renew our joy in personally encountering Him again. When we are like the merchant seeking for the pearl of great price, we can ask God for the gift of faith and the wisdom to recognize when we’ve found it. And when we are afraid to release or let go of what we have for Him, we can honestly ask God for trust in His abundant generosity, His personal love for us, and His delight in meeting our desires and needs.