In the Gospel today, Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven as being like a treasure buried in a dirt field, or like a ridiculously underpriced pearl in a market place. These are valuable things that take great personal sacrifice to obtain. Jesus’ lesson in this for us is that a wise person should be willing to trade away everything else they have, and do it joyfully, because of the desirability of what’s before them. So it is with the Kingdom of God.
But these parables are not only about us, and how we should go after God’s kingdom. They also tell about how God has sought after for us for His kingdom. The Lord saw us as the treasure buried in a field, the field being the world. He was like the pearl merchant, who saw us as a precious pearl whose great worth was unrealized by others. And out of love for us one could say that He joyfully sold everything that He had to possess us.
“For us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven. By the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again,” ‘giving us a new birth to a living hope through His resurrection.’ Through Christ’s poverty, He made us rich, giving us “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [us].”
Whenever something is truly valuable, it is worth one’s great personal sacrifice to possess it and to protect it. Today we are honoring those men and women who have done just that; who have made great personal sacrifices to serve our country in the military. Today is Veterans’ Day. While we would be mistaken to identify our country as being the kingdom of God, it would also be a mistake to dismiss the good our country and its veterans have done around the world.
We can we be so proud of our country’s veterans because they are true soldiers. As G.K. Chesterton said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” This is reflected in how we have treated those we have defeated. We forgive them, rebuild them, and let them have their freedom. We may need to fight some enemies, now and in the future, but we have no need to hate them. Our power is not in our hatred, but our love. In this we follow our model, Jesus Christ, who loved the world so much that sacrificed everything He had for it. And let us remember that He conquered the whole world for us without firing a single shot.