Desiring God's friendship and his love Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Perrotta   
Sunday, July 30, 2017

17th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12

Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130

Romans 8:28-30

Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52 or 13:44-46

God desires our friendship. So much so that Jesus, the Son of God, willingly accepted suffering and death on a cross to reconcile the world to God.

I know this is the central belief of Christian faith. But do I really believe God wants to be "my" friend? Do I desire God's friendship as much as God desires "my" love?

This Sunday's readings invite us to reflect on our heart's deepest desires and longings. We might ask, How would I answer the question that God poses to Solomon in the first reading? "Ask something of me and I will give it to you."

As a powerful king of Israel and son of David, Solomon could have easily asked for wealth, long life, justice against enemies or more power. Instead, Solomon acknowledged, in humility, his utter dependence on God.

Convinced that a life of peace, justice and true happiness flows from doing what is right, Solomon prayed for understanding, for wisdom to know the right path in life. Wisdom was his treasure, his pearl of great price.

To understand and to live by God's commands is to love God, as the psalmist prays in the responsorial psalm: "The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces." Solomon pleased God who granted his heart's request with the invaluable treasure of exceptional wisdom.

There is a treasure hunter in all of us. We love to find a good deal, a bargain value, a unique prize or long-lost treasure, whether these show up in our attics, basements, yard sales, discount stores or personal belongings.

In the Gospel, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a treasure buried in a field that a person finds and hides again, then out of joy goes and sells all he has to buy the field. The kingdom of heaven, says Jesus, is like a merchant searching for fine pearls and when he finds a pearl of great price, he sells all he has to buy it.

Faith introduces us into God's kingdom. Faith that leads to friendship with God and neighbor is an invaluable treasure, a pearl of great price. For by faith we see ourselves and the world as God sees -- with love, compassion and mercy.

With eyes of faith we see, like Solomon, that the most important things in life are not power, prestige and possessions, but persons -- God, family and community.

So, what am I searching for in life? In the face of God's relentless offer of friendship, will we respond in faith saying, "Speak to me, Lord"?

Kevin Perrotta is the editor and an author of the Six Weeks with the Bible series (Loyola Press), teaches part-time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intention: July 2017 Print E-mail
Beginning in 2017, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two. A second prayer intention related to current events will be added each month. The urgent prayer request will mobilize prayer and attention to an immediate situation.

July Prayer Intention

Pope's Prayer Intention:

Lapsed Christians.

That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2017.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Sunday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 25
Ascension Thursday
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Wednesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Friday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Monday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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