Sunday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

“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.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Now a man who comes to the field, whether to the Scriptures or to the Christ who is formed both from things manifest and from things hidden, finds the hidden treasure of wisdom whether in Christ or in the Scriptures. For, going round to visit the field and searching the Scriptures and seeking to understand the Christ, he finds the treasure in it. Having found it, he hides it, thinking that it is not without danger to reveal to everybody the secret meanings of the Scriptures or the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Christ. And, having hidden it, he goes away. Now he is focused on the heavy labor of devising how he shall buy the field, or the Scriptures, that he may make them his own possession, receiving from the people of God the oracles of God with which the Jews were first entrusted. But when one taught by Christ has bought the field, the kingdom of God, according to another parable, is like a vineyard that is “taken from” the first and given to other nations bringing forth its fruits. The one who bought the field in faith, as the fruit of his having sold all else that he had, no longer was keeping anything that was formerly his. For they would be a distracting source of evil to him.

And you will give the same application, if the field containing the hidden treasure is Christ. Those who give up all things and follow him have, as it were in another way, sold their possessions. Thus by having sold and surrendered them and having received in their place a noble resolution from God their helper, they may purchase, at great cost worthy of the field, the field containing the hidden treasure.” (Commentary on Matthew, 10.)

O God, protector of those who hope in You,
without Whom nothing has firm foundation,
nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance Your mercy upon us
and grant that, with You as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen