Wednesday August 1, 2001 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Exodus 34:29-35) Gospel (St. Matthew 13:44:46)
Our Lord tells us in the Gospel that the reign of God is like a buried treasure. And when we find that treasure, it is worth more than anything and everything combined because it is about eternal life. When we consider what God is calling us to for all eternity, there is nothing in this world that is worth losing it. When you think of all the things that are important to us, then ask yourself, "What is so important that I would hang on to that and go to hell, rather than give it up and go to Heaven?" That is where we really begin to see how important it is. That is the point the Lord is making.
For us who recognize the reign of God deep within our own hearts, within His Church, and ultimately within the Eucharist, there is nothing that is more important. Jesus Christ is more important than anything and everything on earth and so we live our lives for Christ. We seek to do His Will in all things because we know that His Will is what is perfect. We seek to imitate Him in all things because we know that He lived a perfect life. This is the way that we are called to order our lives.
In doing so we will not necessarily become like Moses, with radiant skin, but we will be like Moses in that he did the Will of God. In that way, we too, will be able to follow the way of the Lord. When the people of Israel heard everything that Moses had enjoined upon them, everything that God told them, they said, "Everything that the Lord has said, we will do." That needs to be our attitude as well: Everything that the Lord has said, we will do. Not just the following of the Ten Commandments; but when we read the Gospels, it is to accept everything because that is the teaching of Jesus Christ. That is the teaching of the Lord Himself, and so, that is the Kingdom of Heaven.
If we are going to recognize the value of that kingdom, then we need to say, " There is nothing that should get in my way of trying to live the Gospel, of trying to accept it, of trying to live it to the best of my ability." That is what our lives have to be about: shaping ourselves after the Gospel. The Gospel, after all, is Jesus Christ. And so life is about imitating Christ, following Christ, and doing the Will of Jesus Christ.
Note: Father Altier does not write his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.