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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

The Treasure and the Pearl

Submitted by on Wednesday, 27 July 2011One Comment


  • Reading I:  Exodus 34:29-35
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 99
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:44-46

Irenaeus on the Treasure in the Field

He, Christ, is the treasure hidden in the field, that is, in the world, since the field is the world (v. 38). He is hidden in the field, just as he has been referred to in types and parables; it would have been incomprehensible for men if they found it before the fulfillment of the prophesies. This is the reason why it is said that the prophet Daniel "Close the parable and seal the book until the time of its fulfillment.(Daniel 12:4)"

Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, IV, 26, 1.

Origen on the Pearl of Great Price

To the man who searches for precious pearls (Mt. 13, 45), are applied the following words "Seek and you shall find; who searches finds (Mt. 7,7-8)". … Let speak then without any hesitation and in particular about the pearl acquired by the man who gave all and lost all. Because of this pearl, Paul said "I accepted to lose all in order to gain Christ (Philippians 3:8). By the word "all", he means "the beautiful pearls", and "to gain Christ" he meant "the pearl of great price."

Precious is the lamp for those who are in darkness (Luke 1,79) and who need it until the rising of the sun. It is precious like the glory that shines on the face of Moses (cf. 2 Cor. 3,7) — and I believe, also on the other prophets. It is good to see, and it helps us to continue on until we can see the glory of Christ about which the Father gives witness: this is the Son, my Beloved, in whom I have placed all of my love (Matthew 3:17). But that which was partially glorious in this way, no longer exists, because now, there is the glory that overcomes it (2 Cor. 3,10). At an early stage, we need a glory that is meant to disappear before a superior glory just as we need elementary knowledge that would give way to a knowledge that is more perfect (1 Cor. 13, 10).

In just the same way, when a soul is still in infancy and on the way of perfection (Heb. 6,1), he needs a pedagogue, bursars and tutors while he is not yet established in the fulness of time (Gal. 4,4). So in the beginning, he is no different from a slave even if he should be the owner of everything (Gal. 4,1). But finally, he is declared independent and receives the handshake of the teacher, the steward and the keeper of the inheritance. This is the pearl of great value and of perfection which abolishes what is partial (1 Cor. 13,10). And he will receive this when he can already come near to the pre-eminence of the knowledge of Christ (Phil. 3,8), after he has been prepared by the "knowledges" — if these can be called such — which are meant to give way to the knowledge of Christ.

The Law and the Prophets perfectly contain the rudimentary principles that lead us to understand well the Gospel and all the meanings of the deeds and words of Christ.

Origen (+253), Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, 10, 9-10.

Exodus 34:29-35
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
29And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord.
30And Aaron and the children of Israel seeing the face of Moses horned, were afraid to come near.
31And being called by him, they returned, both Aaron and the rulers of the congregation. And after that he spoke to them.
32And all the children of Israel came to him: and he gave them in commandment all that he had heard of the Lord in mount Sinai.
33And having done speaking, he put a veil upon his face.
34But when he went in to the Lord, and spoke with him, he took it away until he came forth, and then he spoke to the children of Israel all things that had been commanded him.
35And they saw that the face of Moses when he came out was horned, but he covered his face again, if at any time he spoke to them.
Matthew 13:44-46
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44The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.
46Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Daniel 12:4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time appointed: many shall pass over, and knowledge shall be manifold.
Philippians 3:8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
8Furthermore I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ:
Matthew 3:17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
17And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

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One Comment »

  • Daily Inspirations » The Story of the Rich Young Man said:

    […] one must take out all other things that are already there to give him an exclusive place in it. He is after all the treasure, the pearl of great price. To have him, one must give up all that one has. Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB […]

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