Sell the Shop?


2 August 2017


The Gospel today is short and pithy and contains two parables, well worth our attention:

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it’ (Matt 13:44-46).

This section of Matthew’s Gospel contains a number of parables not found in the other Gospels. In a sense, they can be divided into two types: those that emphasise God’s action – the small but potent seed – and our response – “selling the shop.”

Let’s forget about “selling the shop” for a minute and focus on the discovery of the treasure and the pearl.

Ancient societies did not have our rule of law and so cities could be ransacked by invaders. What to do with your wealth? Bury it was the best option. Sometime later, of course, someone stumbles across it by surprise.

Is this what has happened with you and God? You were not exactly searching for God or for meaning, but somehow he has stumbled across you? There is an element of surprise in your relationship with him?

And what about the pearl trader? He comes across a pearl of great beauty and so sells all the others to obtain this pearl of great value. Converts to our faith will often speak of the beauty of the Liturgy, the Creed, the Scriptures, indeed the beauty of Christ himself.

Let’s pray this day that we might come across the “hidden treasure” and “pearl” and be so inspired that we “sell the shop.” We won’t be disappointed.