Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are you looking for the treasure buried in a field???

"Jesus said to His disciples: "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)

What is this field like that Our Lord is speaking about and how do we find it? We must understand that this treasure is hidden and that we have to look for the signs to find the field where Our Lord has buried this treasure. This field, if we are to find it in this world, would be rejected by the vast majority of those living in it. It is barren, found in the desert, and off the beaten path and there are only few find it. It is full of thorns and thickets, and in the center of the field you would find a cross which marks the site of where the treasure is hidden. To this world, this field is not only worthless but it is also useless. To those who seek the Kingdom of God, it costs us everything and even if we had all the treasures of this world, it would not be enough to purchase this simple piece of dirt with a cross.

What am I talking about? SUFFERING and TRIBULATION... TRIALS and THE CROSS. We can find it every day of our life for those who know how to recognize it, but most of us toss it away and reject it. We don't want it and we throw it away as if it was just a dirty rag fit for garbage. Jesus clung to it and the soldiers could not pry His Body from it. I hunger for this in my soul because I know its fruits and how good it is for my soul, yet my flesh wants to run as far away from it as possible and wants nothing to do with it. I want to cling to Christ and to Him crucified. Apart from Him I find only ashes... but when I cling to Him and the cross He sends me, I find LIFE. The Tree of Life is the Cross.

The saints spent their life pursuing this field daily and toiled in it. They ask us to join them so that we can also share in the spoils of the treasure of grace found hidden here. St. Rose of Lima knew this field well and it quietly, sweetly beckoned her soul still deeper:

"Our Lord and Savior lifted up His voice and said with incomparable majesty: "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to Heaven."
When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex, and status: "Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from His own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."
That same force strongly urged me to proclaim the beauty of divine grace. It pressed me so that my breath came slow and forced me to sweat and pant. I felt as if my soul could no longer be kept in the prison of the body, but that it had burst its chains and was free and alone and was going very swiftly through the whole world saying:
"If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! Without doubt they would devote all their care and concern to winning for themselves pains and afflictions All men throughout the world would seek trouble, infirmities and torments, instead of good fortune, in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace. This is the reward and the final gain of patience. No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men." (From the writings of St. Rose of Lima, Virgin)

So, let's go back to our original question: Are you looking for this treasure buried in a field or are you avoiding it?

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