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” (Mt 13:44).
God is hiding in plain sight. He is in our midst, present to all of us, a wonderful treasure just waiting to be found. God’s eternal love and grace is ever reaching out to us. Our soul hungers, yearns, and seeks for that love, whether we know it or not. It is when we seek satisfaction, filling this deepest of our desires in material and finite pursuits alone, that we miss the mark. When we sin, create idols, seek the allure of apparent goods, we block our access to the very union we seek. Our desire increases. God acts in the everyday events of our lives, but we limit those experiences by waving them off as just coincidences. In doing so, we have missed the opportunity to find a great treasure.
The saints and the mystics are those who have found the treasure of God’s will in their lives, they have experienced his love and mercy. They have encountered the living God in the midst of their everyday and given all to be immersed in his communion. They “are amplifiers of every person’s more hidden life of faith, hope, and love. Their lives help us to hear the interior whispers and see the faint flickers of divine truth and love in ourselves and others. The Christian mystics point the way to fully authentic human life by illustrating what it means to be a human being, what life means: eternal union (which begins here) with the God of love” (Egan 1996, ix-xx).
Today, may we set aside some time to be still so to hear God’s whisperings. May we open our hearts and minds to recognize his presence, the faint flickers, the God-incidents present in daily our experiences and those we encounter today. May we seek Christ by reading and meditating on his Word. May we also read the lives of the mystics and the saints who are our mentors, who have found the treasure of Jesus’ presence and want to share it with us: St Francis of Assisi, St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, St Ignatius of Loyola, or St Therese of Lisieux; so many leading us and urging us on to experience the rich encounter of the loving God of Jesus Christ.
One who found this great treasure, St. Alphonsus Liguouri (1696-1787), whose memorial we celebrate today, shared: “All holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God, who is our Redeemer and our supreme good” (The Liturgy of the Hours, vol III, 1975, 1568). May we experience the love of God in the depths of our soul, and love as Jesus loves us. St. Alphonsus, Pray for us!
Photo: Hiking in California a few years back.
Egan, Harvey D. An Anthology of Christian Mysticism, Second Edition. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1996.
Link for the Mass Readings for, Wednesday, August 1, 2017: