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常年期第17主日 HOMILY 17th Sunday OT A July 30, 2023


XVII (July 30th Sunday homily)

1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12; Rom 8:28-30; Mt 13:44-52

Fr. Anson Antony


Today’s readings teach us that Faith in Jesus as our God and Savior and sacrificing everything in life to do the will of God are equivalent to discovering and possessing the most valuable treasure or the pearl of great price. In other words, keeping a personal relationship with Jesus, remaining in a state of grace, and sharing his view of life are the most beautiful and the most precious things in the world.

The first reading tells us how the young King Solomon opted for the great treasure of accepting God to rule his life by doing His will. That is why he requested of God the gift of prudence, “an understanding heart to distinguish right from wrong,” so that he might govern God’s people properly.

 The ancient Semitic belief was that people think with their hearts and feel with their kidneys. The latter was considered the source of our emotions and the former, was the source of our thoughts and insights. Thus, when Solomon says, “Give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people and to distinguish right from wrong,” he is simply requesting a mind capable of seeing what others overlook. He asks for an understanding heart so that he can deal well with people, act compassionately and discern right from wrong. He selflessly asks for “a heart with the skill to listen” — sensitivity in understanding his subjects’ needs, and skillful decision-making in order to build a just society. The Lord God was pleased with Solomon’s request and granted him “a wise and discerning heart” which enabled him to surpass everyone in wisdom.

In today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 119), the psalmist says of the commands of God, “For I love Your commands more than gold however fine. For in all Your precepts, I go forward; every false way I hate,” thus showing real Wisdom.

In the second reading, Paul teaches that the wisdom to perceive God’s grace is essential for those who want to follow Him and do His will, thus remaining in His kingdom. The “Kingdom of God” is present when we know that there is absolutely nothing in this world, or out of it, that can separate us from Christ’s love for us. If we follow in the footsteps of Christ, they will lead us to the Kingdom of the Father.

 In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us that God’s Kingdom is something of extraordinary value, like a hidden treasure or costly pearl. Possessing that treasure demands from us a total commitment if we are to preserve it. The Kingdom of God is God’s reign in our hearts, in our lives, in our homes, in our society, and in our world. Only those who develop searching minds and are willing to give up everything for the great treasure of God’s Kingdom will be rewarded. Through the first and second parables, of the treasure and the pearl, Jesus teaches us that identifying God’s will and living according to the Gospel, both with His help, are the most precious and worthwhile things in life. Through Jesus and his Gospel, we come to know and understand the real meaning of life and the most important things we must do to secure our eternal salvation.

 Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We should live every moment of our life in view of our precious goal, eternal life. Most of the time, we are chasing false treasures such as money, social status, or worldly pleasures. Thus, the valuable “pearl” of sharing in God’s life through Jesus here on earth and later in Heaven, is never found. Let us always remember that Heaven is within the reach of all of us who try to do the will of God, following the ordinary vocations of life and enjoying this world’s joys and pleasures within the framework of God’s Commandments.

We also have to keep safe the treasure of our personal relationship with Jesus by accepting him every day as our God and Savior, by allowing him to have total control over our lives through our loving obedience to his will, and by asking him daily for the strengthening and guidance of his Holy Spirit. We do this by talking to him daily in prayer, by listening to him in our meditative reading of the Bible, by getting reconciled to him and others every day, asking pardon and forgiveness for our sins, by offering Him our lives on the altar during the Holy Mass, and by nourishing our souls frequently, receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.




常年期(甲年)第十七主日講道 (07/30/2023)


讀經一: 列王紀上3:5, 7-12
讀經二: 保祿宗徒致羅馬人書 8:28-30
福音: 瑪竇福音 13:44-52


讀經一告訴我們年輕的撒羅滿王如何選擇接受天主來掌管他的生命這一偉大寶藏並遵行了衪的旨意。這就是為什麼他請求天主賜予審慎的恩賜,一顆明辨是非的心 這樣他就可以正確地治理天主的子民。

古代閃米特人的信仰是,人們用心思考,用腎感覺。後者是被認為是我們情感的源泉,前者是我們思想和見解的源泉。因此,當所羅門說:求你賜僕人一顆智慧的心,能判斷你的百姓,辨別正義與真理。 他只是要求有一顆能夠看到別人所忽視的東西的頭腦。他要求有一顆明理的心,這樣他就能與人相處,以愛為本,以憐憫心,明辨是非。他無私地祈求了心靈與傾聽的技巧敏銳地理解他的對象的需求,並熟練地做出決策建立一個公正的社會。天主喜悅撒羅滿的請求,賜給他一個有智慧、有洞察力的心。使他在智慧上超越了所有人。

在今天的回應聖詠(聖詠 119)中,作者談到天主的命令時說:因為我愛祢的命令比黃金還好。因祢一切的訓詞,我都往前行;我討厭每一種錯誤的方式,從而表現出真實的智慧。