My Sisters and Brothers!
What is the treasure Jesus is talking today in the Gospel? The Bible tells us this: “Happy the man who discovers wisdom, the man who gains discernment, gaining her is more rewarding then silver, more profitable then gold. She is beyond the price of pearls.” (Proverbs 3: 13-15) Are we surprised now that Solomon asked for wisdom so that he could discern between good and evil so that he could govern the people of God? He knew what was priceless – wisdom. What is wisdom though? In the Biblical sense, wisdom is the “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.” The Wisdom teachings of the Bible flow from the two great themes of the Ten Commandments and the Commandments of Jesus: reverence to God and respect for all persons. We may think that wisdom is some skill we gain in due course. However Christian understanding of wisdom is more about a person than some skill.
In what is today known as Istanbul but used to be called Constantinople there is a church that for a thousand years, until fifteenth century, was the biggest church building of the Christendom. It is called Hagia Sophia which means Holy Wisdom. Do you know who that mysterious Holy Wisdom is? When the church was still in the hands of Christians its main feast day was December 25. Whose birthday is then? It is Jesus Christ who back then, in the sixth century was already called Wisdom of God.
Although it isn’t a Christian place of worship any longer let us acknowledge the one who is called Wisdom of God gives us ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.
That is what the New Testament, the First letter to the Corinthians, to be precise, states: “Jesus Christ, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30) Wisdom presented here it is Our Blessed Lord.
Can you recognize this passage: “Going into the house they saw the Child with his mother Mary, and falling to their needs they did him homage. Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.” The Magi left their earthy treasures in Bethlehem as those treasures had lost their value in comparison with Christ – the true treasure. The man from today’s parable did the same. He reevaluated his life and acknowledged that what he had was nothing in comparison with what was hidden in that field. What he found was what the Magi found too – Christ the Lord. Was he silly? Were the Magi crazy? As we reflect on both passages we discover a common thing: When the man finds the treasure hidden in the filed he goes off happy. When the Magi found the Baby Jesus they were filled with delight. Such a treasure, I mean Jesus Christ, brings hopes for better future, for the change of life.
I have just told you one of the Christmas stories let us balance it with an Easter story now. When the Lord was taken down from the cross he was placed in the grave, in the ground like treasure waiting to be found. However Jesus is an unusual treasure. He doesn’t wait to be found. He leaves the place where they hidden him, the grave, and go to search for us. He who is Wisdom of God to us. What happens to the women when they meet Jesus that Easter morning? They are filled with awe and great joy (Matthew 28: 8) like the man who found treasure in the field, like the Magi leaving their earthly treasures before the Baby Jesus, He who is Wisdom of God to us.