July 26

Sunday, July 26
Matthew 13:44-52
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. (Matthew 13:45)

   What are you looking for in life?

   Everybody is searching for something. Children long for a special toy or game. Teenagers look for a boyfriend or girlfriend or success at school. Working people might be seeking out the next big career opportunity. People of any age could be wanting financial security or peace of mind.

    Today’s Gospel introduces us to someone who is also a seeker: a merchant on a quest for fine pearls. Like many of us, this merchant is searching for something specific. And in the midst of his search, he finds something far more wonderful than what he expected: one single pearl of surpassing value, a “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:46). Seeing it, he gives up the search for those “fine pearls.” He commits himself fully to obtaining that one beautiful pearl-so much so that he sells everything else so that he can buy it.

   Surely the merchant wasn’t able to sell everything all at once. There were probably times when he doubted himself. But he kept at it, day after day, item after item, until he finally had it – the pearl of his dreams. At last he was content!

   Jesus says this merchant shows us what the kingdom of heaven is like. It is made up of people like us, searching for happiness. In some ways, the things we seek can make us happy. But finding Jesus and being part of His kingdom far surpasses the happiness that anything else can give. In Him we find the answer to our deepest longings for love and reconciliation. For security and fulfillment. For purpose and meaning.

   Make no mistake: things we long for can often be good things. But remember the merchant. There was nothing wrong with the pearls he was trading in. Yet he sold all of them for that one pearl of great price.

“Lord, help me to see You as a priceless pearl worth everything in my life.”  
1 Kings 3:5,7-12
Psalm 119:57,72,76-77, 127-130
Romans 8:28-30

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