As a little boy, I remember vividly playing with my friends a game that we called ‘treasure hunt’. One of us will go hide something and the rest of us will have to go look for it. Sometimes we would even go to the extent of drawing a treasure map, pretending to be pirates in search of the hidden treasure. Our maps may not have been as complicated or detailed as that of Captain Jack Sparrow or Long John Silver’s. All I can remember is that we had lots of fun and when we found the hidden ‘treasure’, we all had a great laugh.
Already at that age many of us knew that a treasure is something precious and a valuable object. Though our hidden treasure had absolutely no value, but it didn’t stop us from going in search of it.
The gospel today (17th Sunday in Ordinary Time) speaks of a treasure and Jesus makes reference to the Kingdom as a treasure hidden in the field and goes on to say that when one finds it, nothing else matters except this treasure. However, Jesus makes no reference as to where or how do we go in search of this treasure. How easy it would have been if Jesus gave us all a treasure map and finding this kingdom would have been much easier.
Maybe there is a reason as to why we don’t have a map…we don’t need one. The treasure is already in our midst. Often in life, we don’t realise the value of a thing until we have lost it or misplaced it.
In the same way, the treasure that Jesus speaks about in the gospel is the joy of knowing Him and once we know Him, nothing else matters. The ‘knowing’ here is not like an acquaintance but rather a deep knowledge and experience that Jesus will provide everything He deems necessary for us.
However, there are times when we get carried away and caught up with the concerns of the world that we loose sight of this treasure. The material world that we live in traps us and replaces the true treasure (Jesus) with things of the world. Now our treasure becomes money, possession, and power… In short, we are driven by greed – an insatiable greed that never finds fulfilment or satisfaction.
The gospel message today is that Jesus is our prized possession, our treasure and he is right here in our midst. All we need to do if we want to find him is to open our eyes of faith and we will see. Maybe if we start appreciating the little ‘treasures’ that we have and stop complaining about the things we don’t have, we also begin to appreciate the Almighty who provides for all.
In the same way, persons are great gifts from God… your mother, father, spouse, children, brother, sister, friends, etc., are all treasures from God. Let us not wait till we loose them and only then realise what a treasure they had been and we were too busy to realise it. Let us learn to appreciate them and be thankful for these persons who in many ways are our treasures.