17th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 15:10, 16–21
Woe is me, Mother, why did you bring me to the light? A man of dissension throughout the land! I owe them nothing, neither do they owe me, yet they all curse me!
I devoured your words when they came. They were my happiness and I felt full of joy when you made your Name rest on me. Never did I associate with worldly people, amusing myself with scoffers! When your hand was upon me I stood apart and you filled me with your anger.
Why is there no end to my sorrow or healing for my wound? Why do you deceive me, and why does my spring suddenly dry up? Then Yahweh spoke to me, “If you return I will take you back and you will serve me again. Draw the gold from the dross and you will be as my own mouth. You must draw them to you and not go over to them. I will make you a fortress and a wall of bronze facing them; if they fight against you they will not overcome you; I am with you to free you and save you. I will redeem you from the wicked and free you from the hands of tyrants.”
Gospel: Matthew 13:44-46
Jesus said to the crowds, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it buries it again; and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field.
“Again the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who is looking for fine pearls. Once he has found a pearl of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it.”
The best way to see to the heart of Jesus’ parables is to try to write one of your own. What is the Kingdom of God lie? It is like a game of chess. A man begins to play it who is accustomed to the game of draughts, where the winner is the one who succeeds in removing most of the opponent’s pieces from the board. In chess, he discovers with a shock that he has lost the game though he still retains most of his pieces. If he has lost his king he has lost the game, no matter how many pawns or rooks or knights still stand proudly before him.
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