deepening, Matthew, pearl, pearl of wisdom, perseverance, prayer, steadfastness, still small voice of God, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, wisdom
On Sunday I spoke of the “pearl of great price” as wisdom because the accompanying reading from the Hebrew Scriptures was about Solomon’s wise request for the gift of an understanding heart. This morning’s gospel (MT 13: 44-46) repeats the same section of the gospel with the 2 short parables about the pearl. As I read it, two chants from our wisdom work rose up in me that focus on the search for that pearl. Both are apt, I think, for what needs to take place if we are to find true wisdom in our life.
1. Seek the treasure; seek the light. Seek the pearl in the ocean of night. When we are in darkness it sometimes feels as if day will never dawn, but for those who have embraced the night – whatever that night signifies, either actually or symbolically – we know that the deepest part of the night is usually also the most silent and it is often there that we can hear the “still, small voice of God.”
2. To find the pearl beyond compare, O dig right here, deep in your soul. Wisdom does not come without effort, nor from superficial seeing. Anyone who has ever spent any time gardening knows that sometimes going deep enough for the needs of certain plants is not an easy task. Encountering roots and stones and different kinds of soil can be challenging to the goal but if one perseveres, the beauty that eventually manifests – and sometimes “eventually” takes a fair amount of waiting along with the work – is worth the effort. Constant deepening in prayer and consciousness is the way to wisdom.
Steadfastness/perseverance seems the order of the day…
A kind of reverse interpretation of these verses has been floating around my brain as another possible consideration. Jesus Himself might be the merchant. He came to seek and to save the lost, and what gets lost so often is the fact that I am precious to God and that he sent Jesus to, in a sense, open up my heart to reveal the treasure, the pearl, that He planted there in my creation. It is there in all of us of course but so difficult to access. When I grasp that am His treasure I am more able to receive Him and seek Him.