Daily Devotional for November 7

November 7                                                  Matthew 13:44-52


          "...the realm of heaven is like a merchant in
 search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great
        value, went and sold everything and bought it."


Sitting beside my friend, the stream, I ponder this parable.
"Obviously," I tell my friend, "like the merchant, I should
sacrifice everything to gain heaven."


The stream gently responds, "You've got it backwards."


"What do you mean, 'backwards'?"


"Read the parable again," the stream advises. "It doesn't say
you are like a merchant; it says the realm of heaven is like a
merchant. In other words, God is like a merchant in search of
fine pearls." The stream gives me time to absorb its wisdom,
then continues: "The fine pearls are the people of earth. Like
a merchant who loves pearls and wants as many as possible,
God loves people and wants to bring them all into God's realm."


"What about the price?" I ask. "What does it mean when it
says that the merchant 'sold everything'? What does God 'sell'
to 'buy' human beings?"


The stream reflects, then asks, "What is the most valuable thing
God has?"


"That would be God's unique Child, Jesus," I reply - and
immediately I see that Christ's life was what God paid to buy
humanity, and a verse of Scripture leaps into my mind: "You
are not your own; you were bought with a price." (1 Corin-
thians 6:19-20) After savoring this insight, I say, "Friendly
stream, there's one part of the parable that I still don't under-
stand: what is the 'one pearl of great value'?"


The stream responds gently, "My friend, it is you... ."


Today I sit quietly beside my friend, the stream. In my heart
I repeat as a mantra its precious gift to me: I am a pearl of
great value.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1

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