Have you ever heard of treasure finders named Paul and Peter?
Well, I remember the times when some of my town folks were lured into treasure hunting. That was after Rogelio Roxas allegedly found the Golden Buddha in 1971. Many people even believe that some portions of Yamashita treasure were buried somewhere here in Occidental Mindoro waiting to be unearthed or already have already been taken. Certain rumor circulated in Lubang, just a year or two after Hiroo Onoda surrendered, that a couple of Japanese nationals allegedly stayed in the island for quite some time and suddenly vanished along with their digging tools.
The story of Roxas and the Golden Buddha and the two stories in our Gospel reading this Sunday, July 27, 2014, are in some ways similar. They are both about a man and they found something very precious and of great value. Be it treasure or pearl, as we can read from Matthew 13:44-46.
The first story tells us about a man, probably a farm tenant, cultivating or digging the field until he found something beyond expectation or by accident. He is not sure whether the previous land owner have forgotten about them or perhaps the owner is now gone. In no time he did realize that the treasure has been there for very long time. He knows that he found something precious and he must keep it.
The second parable is the same yet different. Our man did not find it accidentally. He had been searching for it for a long time until he finally got it. He, merchant as he is, was looking for something real and authentic. Indeed, he knows exactly that he is hunting for fine pearls.
Know what did they do after finding those precious things? Whether by accident or by tedious hunt, they have the same reaction: selling all they had, giving up everything else in order to get the treasure or the pearl. Many of us may think, “WTF! Did they really give up everything just for some treasure?” We may think that they are nuts, but for them, what is more important is an eternal and perpetual Return of Investment or ROI!
Jesus’ opening words in both of the story is this: “The kingdom of heaven is like…” Jesus is trying to show us here what's the worth of the Kingdom of God and what it’s like being part of this kingdom. Tellingly, the two parables lead us in knowing that Jesus is our greatest treasure.
If you would allow me, I would like to call the first one Paul and the other one Peter. Paul, not unlike our first man, found Jesus unexpectedly and on the contrary, Peter was already familiar with the Son of God. Paul (nee Saul), a former exterminator of his future Lord’s followers, found the greatest treasure on the road to Damascus while Peter discovered Jesus, after venturing on many spirituality and religious beliefs, when he journey with Him through thick and thin and finally found his pearl of great price. Ergo, Paul and Peter were both treasure finders who gave all their “T”s,- Time, Treasure and Talent, to get those divine treasures and in the end transformed by their find.
Me? My transformation is still being uploaded for I am still a freebie trying to open my search engine to find for Jesus rather than be stumbled upon the net or Googled by Him.
I am still a murky scavenger in this social garbage heap hoping to be a transformed treasure finder. Just like the treasure hunters in my place way back then...
(Photo: The Clipart Wizard)