Thoughts on the Readings for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 2014

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072714.cfm

For the past two Sundays we have been reading from the 13th chapter  of Matthew’s Gospel, which contains several of Jesus’ parables.  This Sunday we conclude this chapter with three more of Jesus’ parables.  The first two are very brief.  They are the parable of the treasure buried in a field and the merchant’s search for fine pearls.  In both cases the individuals sell all they have in order to possess the treasure and the pearl.  This reminds us that the kingdom of God is so valuable that we should do all that we can to obtain it.   

The third parable this Sunday is a bit enigmatic.  It is the parable of the “net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets.  What is bad they throw away.”   Jesus then says:  “Thus it will be at the end of the age.  The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace....”  This reminds us that there will be a time of judgment, but the time of that judgment belongs to God, as does the judging.  

Our first reading this Sunday is from the first Book of Kings.  Solomon has succeeded his father David as King.  In a dream the Lord said to Solomon: “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”  In reply Solomon does not ask for wealth or power.  Instead he said: “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.”  This was my prayer when I was first named a pastor in 1987.  

Our second reading this Sunday is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.   In the brief section we read today Paul reminds us:  “We know that all things work for good for those who love god, who are called according to his purpose.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion: 
1.  What is important to you?  What do you treasure?  
2.  If you don’t already possess your treasure, what would you do to possess it?  
3.  If God asked you what you wanted, what would ask for? 

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