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.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it."
Two of my girls went to AYC (Arch-diocesan Youth Conference) this past weekend. This was the last year my 18 year old could go to the conference as a student. I asked my children why they go on these trips and they said that it was because they are searching to learn more about their Catholic Faith. There were thousands of youth at AYC this past weekend. How many of them would say the same thing? Are we all searching for something?
The Gospel today is about Jesus giving His disciples an example of what The Kingdom of Heaven could be compared to here on earth. "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.”
Today is the memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Saints are great examples for us today to learn from by reading about their lives. Saint Ignatius was a regular, normal person just like any of us. When he was eighteen years old he trained to be a soldier. He was wounded in battle at Pamplona and sustained major injuries to his legs. While recovering, he wanted to read, and asked for some books. The only books available to him were “The life of Christ” and the lives of the Saints. He had his conversion from reading these books. When he would daydream about chivalry in the world, he would end up feeling empty and sad. However when he would daydream about the lives of the saints and he would be left with a feeling of fulfillment and joy. When he was well enough to leave the hospital bed, he left to go to the Benedictines. He then decided to give up all for Christ. He left his sword and dagger near a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign of his abandonment to Christ. Saint Ignatius gave up all to follow Jesus. The Saints were people like you and I searching for the “pearl of great price”.
My husband has a subscription to the Houston Chronicle and there was an article in Monday’s paper about the Archdiocesan Youth Conference. In the article, the author asked a few of the youth about their experience. Here is what one of the youth had to say:
“Vargas (a 16 year old) also knows that sex abuse scandals may have led some to turn away from the Catholic Church. She compared the crisis to the fire at Notre Dame, which destroyed the roof and trademark spire of the centuries old French cathedral in mid-April. Even as flames engulfed the structure, Vargas watched on TV as priests ran in to save precious artifacts and religious ornaments and noted that the community is already working to rebuild what was lost.
“That is what this church is - it’s burning, but God still wants you to stay for the recovery. It’s going to be rebuilt, and he wants you to come back stronger,” Vargas said. “God doesn’t leave us during our worst times, so why should we leave Him during His church’s?””
My children are not the only ones searching. What a beautiful and rich treasure we have in our Catholic Faith. We are all called to do our part in keeping this treasure alive for future generations. Our priests are the key. I am so very grateful for our PAPA Family. Thank you for praying for our priests to be holy and to be on fire for Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church.
Mary Queen of Apostles - make our priests holy.
Saint Alphonsus - pray for us.
Saint John Vianney - pray for us.