Today is Wednesday the 30th of July, in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time.

The monks of the Abbey of Keur Moussa sing Psalm 146:  “It is good to sing in honour of our God - sweet is his praise.  The Lord, Restorer of Jerusalem! He brought back Israel's exiles,  healing their broken hearts, and binding up their wounds.”

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

A short reading, but a powerful image.  Hidden treasure!  An idea familiar from books, from films, even from computer games.  Imagine for a moment what you’d feel like, discovering treasure like this.

But there’s a catch.  The treasure comes with a price.  The merchant has to sell everything to buy the precious pearl.  The field with the treasure in it costs all that the discoverer has.  So is this a good deal? Could you possibly imagine yourself behaving in this way?

What could possibly be so good that you would sell everything you had, with joy, to get it?  For Jesus, the answer is “the kingdom of God”.  So it’s something about the world being organised the way that God wants it.  What difference would that, that sense of God really being in charge, make to your own life?

As you listen again, listen out for the note of joy that fills those making those discoveries.

If you’re part of the crowd Jesus speaks these parables to, how do you respond to him?