Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Today’s Gospel from St. Matthew is a short version of the Gospel we heard on Sunday, in which Jesus likens the Kingdom of heaven to a treasure buried in the field, “which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field,” or like a merchant who, when he “finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” Jesus uses similar analogies at other times to try to give us an understanding of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus’ descriptions tell us something crucially important about this Kingdom of which he speaks, that is, that it is not out there somewhere far away in time or space. Rather, it is right here underneath our noses.

We tend, as my pastor observed in speaking about this reading on Sunday, to see only the ordinary when we look around us. Our task, however, is to train ourselves to see the extraordinary that lies underneath the ordinary – the treasure buried in the field. We know it is there – we’ve all had glimpses of it…moments when the transcendent breaks through and we see that which is normally not visible. We need to remember those moments, and savor them, so we will train ourselves to see them more and more.

The Kingdom of God is at hand, Jesus told us. He meant it. It is for us to see it underneath the ordinary.