Bottom line: Evil does not have an independent existence. Like a parasite or like the coronavirus, evil sucks out life, bringing sickness and death. Only Jesus brings goodness that lasts: the buried treasure, the pearl of great price.
Jesus tells us, "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field...a pearl of great price..." What is that hidden treasure, that pearl of great price?
Let's begin with a simple observation: Gold has to be refined - purified by fire. A pearl begins that enters an oyster. Layer upon layer coats the irritant until it forms a beautiful pearl.
Along with the parable of the treasure and the pearl, Jesus speaks about things that are not so good. Last Sunday Jesus spoke about weeds springing up alongside the wheat. However, says "Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, 'First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
The world we live in contains both wheat and weeds. The same applies to the Church - and to our hearts. You heart and mine have much that is good and that will endure - like wheat harvested into a barn. Our hearts also have weeds that sooner or later will have to be separated out.
To understand this we need to know what evil is. Evil does not have an independent existence. Evil depends on the good in order to exist. Evil is something like the coronavirus. It just hangs in the air, but if it enters a human body with sufficient number it takes over the good cells, causing sickness even death.
In the same way sin takes over something good and causes destruction, even death. Consider the sin of lust. Like the coronavirus lust is parasitical. It takes over something good. Sexuality is very good: it binds two people together and bring about new life. Lust, on the other hand, seeks only pleasure. Instead of bringing union, it brings separation. Think of the girl waiting for the call that never comes.
Evil, whether lust, greed or laziness, is always parasitical. It destroys something good and in the end, destroys even pleasure itself.
So, what do we do? It's usually not a good idea to confront evil directly. I remember Bishop Sheen saying we have to crowd out evil. Fill your life with things positive. Ultimately we have to do what Jesus says today: find the treasure buried in a field. Go after that pearl of great price.
Next Sunday we will see concretely what that buried treasure is - what is that pearl of great price. It may surprise you. Don't miss it.
For today remember that evil does not have an independent existence. Like a parasite or like the coronavirus, evil sucks out life, bringing sickness and death. Only Jesus brings true health - goodness that lasts: the buried treasure, the pearl of great price.
From Archives (for Seventeenth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru