Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: November 14th

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by
✠Challoner Meditation 14th November; the kingdom of heaven is like... Mtt xiii.44

NOVEMBER 14

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE UNTO A TREASURE, &c. MATT. xiii. 44

Consider first, that by the kingdom of heaven, in this and many other places of the gospel, we are to understand that heavenly kingdom by which God reigns by his grace in our souls. A heavenly kingdom indeed which we are commanded to seek in the first place, Matt. i. 33, and which we are taught daily to pray for in the second petition of the Lord’s prayer. Now this kingdom of grace in our souls is here likened to a treasure, because of its inestimable value; it is worth more than all the kingdoms of the earth; it brings God himself into our souls, to live and reign there for ever. But then it is a hidden treasure, because the children of this world are strangers to the true value of it; and though they have heard of the field, (of virtue and devotion,) where it is to be found by seeking and by digging for it, they are far more fond of the childish toys, which amuse them at present, than of a treasure unseen; and therefore they are unwilling either to incur the charges of purchasing this field, or the pains of digging for this treasure. Not so the man in the gospel, who having discovered this treasure, sets his whole heart upon it, hides it diligently, and for the joy thereof goes and sells all he has, and buys that field. See, my soul, if this be thy disposition. Dost thou consider this kingdom of divine grace as a treasure indeed, and the richest of all treasures? Is thy heart set upon it? For where thy treasure is, there thy heart will be. Art thou willing to purchase at any rate that blessed field where this treasure lies?

Consider 2ndly, the lessons we are taught by our Lord in this parable, particularly with regard to the value we ought to set upon divine grace; the great esteem and affection we ought to have for our spiritual advancement; and for all such things as may help our souls forward, and bring them nearer to our God. We are here also taught that the Christian who desires to secure to himself this heavenly treasure, which he has begun to discover, must not make a show of it by ostentation or vainglory – which would be the direct way to lose it – but must hide it by humility, like a traveller who, carrying a treasure about him, endeavours to conceal it for fear of robbers. Moreover, we are taught that, to make this treasure our own, we must purchase the field where it lies, and that this purchase will stand us in all we are worth. This field, in which this spiritual treasure is concealed is true wisdom: ’tis a devout and virtuous life; ’tis the following of Christ in good earnest, and being his true disciples. Now, to purchase a field of so great a value as this is, we must part with all things else – that is we must give up all other affections to embrace and follow Christ; but then, in exchange, he, on his part, will make over to us all his treasures, and himself into he bargain.

Consider 3rdly, Christian soul, if you desire to have a share in so great a happiness, by what steps you are to advance towards it, and to come to the possession of it. And first, you must be convinced by the word of God and by the light of faith that there is a treasure of inestimable value designed by your heavenly Father for you, to enrich you both for time and eternity, if you will but make use of the proper means to find it out and to make it your own. The next step must be to conceive a great esteem for this heavenly treasure – an ardent desire to acquire it, and a strong resolution to spare neither pains nor costs in the acquisition of it. The desire and resolution must be followed by a diligent inquiry after the field of wisdom and virtue, where this treasure is hidden, and then digging here till it is found. Now, all this is to be effected by the exercise of consideration and mental prayer. Yes, my soul, it is by daily opening thy eyes to the light of God and to his divine truths in meditation that thou shalt both learn what a treasure there is in virtue, and how thou art to be put in possession of it. Here thou wilt discover the beauty of holiness; how sweet it is to love God, and how happy to serve him in good earnest: here thou shalt be inflames with a fervent desire of procuring for thyself so great a happiness, and with a holy hunger and thirst after it. The pondering well, by deep consideration, eternal truths, is like digging for the treasure of the kingdom of heaven; and the affections and resolutions of the soul, by which she is determined at all events to consecrate the remainder of her life to divine love, is like selling all to purchase this field where this treasure is deposited.

Conclude to use thy best endeavours to seek without ceasing for this treasure of the kingdom of heaven in the field of virtue and devotion. and to dig daily for it by the daily exercise of meditation and mental prayer, and thou shalt not fail to find it.

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