JULY 30,  2003, HOMILY: MATTHEW 13: 44-46 

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE TREASURE HIDDEN IN A FIELD. ONE WHO FINDS IT GIVES ALL HE HAS TO PURCHASE THAT FIELD.  All of us who are monks can take some encouragement from this saying of our Lord inasmuch as we have acted upon the principle he teaches here at the time we entered the community. As far as we were able at that time we left behind all we possessed above all we separated our self from those who were dearest to us and who made life a joy. Our motive was precisely to gain the great treasure of possessing the right of entry into the kingdom of heaven.  

We were not long in the monastery before we began to discover that it is not enough to give all we possess at any one time in order to purchase citizenship in the City of God; we must not acquire new possessions that we make our own. In order to possess the eternal life as lived in the kingdom we must give all we have every day. We need to learn to live as belonging to the Lord of that kingdom, free from attachments that subtly grow from within and bind us once again to the good things and people of this world. 

And yet, we must also love and give our self for the good of others if we would be worthy of sharing the life of the kingdom.  The task then is to learn to love with the love that unites the members of the kingdom rather than to love according to the flesh. Here is where the communion with our Lord which is the very essence of the kingdom serves to refashion our way of loving 

Selling all we have, renouncing our life in this world does indeed introduce us into the kingdom of God and what we discover once we enter upon life in that realm is that the love of God is the secret of true life. In knowing and loving the Savior sent by the Father we learn how to love others and the world itself without being possessed by them. We are formed to love in the Spirit of the Lord, with concern for life in the Spirit guiding us and preserving us from forming new attachments that draw us back into the world doomed to death. 

May the Eucharist we offer this day obtain for us fresh increments of the surpassing knowledge of Christ that is life lived in the kingdom of God the Father and in the Holy Spirit.

  Abbot John Eudes Bamberger

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