Better your faithful love than life itself

(Psalm 63.4)

I never found treasures
or precious jewels in my life.
But you do not need to be a rocket scientist
to understand that if anyone finds a real valuable treasure,
he would not hesitate to put up for sale all his goods
to acquire what he has just discovered.
Everyone is canny enough to make a good investment when he sees one.

Jesus Christ thinks the same.
He compares His Kingdom to jewels and treasures.
A beautiful and precious endowment.
So valuable indeed that it is worth selling everything to acquire it.
A commodity that you better grasp when the opportunity arises.

The point is where is this treasure hidden in a field?
Where is this jewel so precious that one willingly sells all to acquire it?
It must be out there… somewhere;
otherwise Jesus Christ would not have spoken about it!

However the truth is that thoughts of religion do not enkindle our hearts any more..
Church does not flare up inside us
feelings of joy
and adventure
but rather sentiments of burdens and heavy loads
that we have to carry.
When we think of Church we think of laws and prescriptions…
do this, do not do that,
use caution here,
dress well,
be careful where to look,
say your prayers,
do not use contraceptives…

Religion becomes a bloodsucker that gulps down all pleasure in life.
Far from being a treasure,
it is a barrier to happiness!

What has happened?
Why has everything been turned upside down?
A treasure has become a lacklustre dismay?

Is it that we failed to understand the obvious?
Or is the problem deeper?

The whole issue rotates around asking ourselves these candid questions:
where do we place Jesus Christ in our lives?
On the outside or inside?
Do we let him in or do we leave him standing at the door?
Is he a ghost or is he real?
Is he someone great whom we refer to when we need a helping hand
or is he our bosom friend?
Let us be frank - do we have a true and deep
experience of Jesus Christ? Did we ever?

For many Christians of today,
Jesus Christ is just a historical person who lived two thousand years ago,
who yes, did a great deal of good
but who now has no practical impact in life.

For the early Christians, it was a different story.
Jesus Christ was someone very alive,
so much so that they built their lives around him.
If he failed, they would fail,
if he succeeded, they would succeed.

Without him they did not even have a name.
They were called 'Christ-ians', people of Christ.
The martyrdom of the early Christians was not
a heroic act of super big-hearted people
but the most obvious thing of level-headed persons.
Those who find a treasure will never allow anyone to take it away from them.

We have insured ourselves so well,
that if by chance He fails,
we still have other options.

Too bad!

"I myself taught Ephraim to walk,
I myself took them by the arm,
but they did not know that I was the one caring for them,
that I was leading them with human ties,
with leading strings of love;
that, with them, I was like someone lifting an infant to his cheek,
and that I bent down to feed him.
My heart within me is overwhelmed, fever grips my inmost being.”

(Hosea 11.3-4, 8b)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.