Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword - "Eureko"!
I have found it! - Legend has it that on discovery of the principle of displacement while taking a bath, Archimedes jumped from the bath and dashed into the street crying aloud "Eureko". Such was his excitement, he had overlooked the fact that he was naked! The readings today speak to us of the excitement associated with the discovery of religious truth, in particular, the discovery of Christ as the centre of living.

1 Kings 3:5.7-12. Solomon, recognising the awesome responsibility that now was his as leader of the Israelites in succession to his father King David, asked for what he needed - wisdom, rather than for what he probably wanted. In the Hebrew tradition, the wise person was the one who knew how to deal with the challenges of everyday living; how to make the right decisions at the critical times.

Romans 8: 28-30 Paul wants us to understand that the partnership with God in Jesus is a real partnership through which, in the first instance, we enrich our own lives and then help to enrich the lives of others.

Matthew 13:44-52 The Gospel makes the point that we must look for, in order to find, the "hidden treasure". More than that, having found it, it must be used in a manner that, constantly, from our store room we are bringing forth both new and old.

Point 1: There are not too many people who are unaffected by the act of discovery. To find a solution to a problem that we have been working on, especially when the effort has been great, is always rewarding. Deep down, we are all very much like the two main characters in today's Gospel seeking security in our lives. "Oh! For the "Lotto" feeling"! For the committed Christian, Christ is the "hidden treasure". Phrases such as "new born" "new creation" are used to describe the excitement associated with this discovery. Our new born Faith in Christ enables us to take more seriously His promise to be "the way, the truth, and the life"; it brings to us a more complete understanding of that other promise "I have come that you may have life in its fulness".
But such security does not come without cost; it requires of us, from time to time, to distance ourselves from standards and values that society, by and large, readily embraces. There are times when we are called upon to frame our decisions in terms of what we need rather than what we want, and, in doing so, we may find ourselves as the "odd man out".

Point 2: People who think differently are regularly described as "strange". And people who believe that life has a spiritual, as well as a physical, dimension - they are even "stranger"! But, far from locking people into a static, inert lifestyle, religious commitment constantly exposes us to new horizons, new discoveries about life and how it can be lived. This exposure shows up in the way in which religious commitment leads people to involve themselves in living; as well as creating conditions for smooth sailing, it enables them to handle difficult, unpleasant situations with calm efficiency; but, more than anywhere else, it shows up in the great sense of inner peace that they enjoy. Because of this inner peace, they find that they have impact on others. It enables a person to be more outgoing and open to trust. And all of this because their lives are a reflection of the partnership they have with Christ. They have discovered the "pearl of great price".

Conclusion: I am reminded of the anedote of the two musicians, one a guitar player and the other played a ukelele. These two had been performing together for years, and, one day, the uke player says to the guitar player - "Tell me something! Why is it over all these years, I keep running up and down the neck of this thing whilst all you do is sit there and go "Plink, Plonk; Plink Plonk"? "Well" says the guitar player, "the truth is, you're hunting for it! I've found it"! And that is the difference. The discovery that people make in Jesus is such as to make them re-think and re-order their lives.

Scriptural reference: From there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. [Deut 4:29]