Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Pearl of Great Price

August 2, 2017

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 403

EX 34:29-35

PS 99:5, 6, 7, 9

MT 13:44-46

I saw a dad joke online today that I thought was amusing.   “I lost my mood ring.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.”   Those rings were really fun to play with.   People were so convinced that you could tell how someone felt by the color of their ring or their aura.   While I am kind of indifferent to the idea of auras, I can take it or leave it, what I think we should be aiming for is a ring that is more important than one that our ‘feelings show.  A halo.  In today’s first reading we see Moses come down from the mountain after an encounter with God.  His face is shining with radiance so brightly that the people are distracted!   He ends up having to wear a veil when around them so that they stop staring and actually listen to the words he’s saying.

The interesting thing about it is that Moses never got to see God’s face.   Even when God permitted him in some way to get a glimpse beyond this world and some small view of God himself, Moses was only able to look at him from behind as it passed.  Michelangelo paints it in such a comic way that you see God’s rear end on the Sistine Chapel.   Just that small glimpse of just God’s passing was enough to make Moses radiate and glow with what might be deemed the first Halo, a visible aura that intrigued and awed.  How much more so must be the person who has seen God?  We see in the Mysteries of the Rosary the Transfiguration.   At that moment, Jesus wasn’t being transformed, as much as revealed.   The glow of the only one who had ever seen the Father.   He always had it, but only then did the disciples get to glimpse it.

As I head this morning to my scrutiny, I am pondering the thought of what all of this means.   Jesus talks of the pearl of great price, something so valuable that someone would give up everything they have in order to receive it.   To hold on to it, and only it.  Discerning the second vocation to the Diaconate has made me acutely aware of what I hold precious in my life.   My family is important to me, and my marriage to my wife will always be my first vocation.  The Sacraments though remind me of a pearl that I can never afford.   In each of them, we encounter God much like Moses on that mountain.   In the Eucharist, especially, we come face to face with God, a privilege that even Moses was unable to have.  

The question is, do we come away changed?   Do we glow with joy and love as we leave the Church and go into the world to spread the goodness and glorify God with our lives?  Does an encounter with Christ give us a visible aura or do we hide it underneath, making our faith something that can only be discovered by those who know us best?  I have no doubt of my calling.  After these years of discernment and prayer, coupled with the journey with holy men and women who are also going through this, I believe sincerely that God is calling me to be configured to the Servant Christ.  Pray for me today that the Church agrees, and that no matter what I desire, God’s will be done.