Today in my community of Apostoli Viae, our founder, Dan Burke, shared an audio reflection. As I listened, I sat in a chair facing a window looking out to the field behind my home. This picture is of my view and as you can see, it is a great place to sit and contemplate.
In the audio, Dan spoke about what he shared at our recent gathering. “If you’re not all in, you’re not in at all.” What did that mean? It became clearer as this window helped me to see more than just a view. Twelve panes of glass, yet one, separated by frames. I see the whole picture looking out yet can focus my vision in one square. Each could represent six years in my life from birth until the present.
That separation can’t really exist; I am not separated from my youth except in the passage of time – I am still the little six year old girl and at the same time the 60 year old woman. Perhaps ignoring the squares I can look at the view our heavenly Father sees. I start to look within and see a pitiful human, with faults, weaknesses and failures. This is pride, vanity and probably narcissism pushing forward in a negative view of myself. If I’m truthful, I probably can say my heavenly Father doesn’t look at me this way – not at one day in my life, one mistake or one success; one good choice or one bad. He sees me, my whole life – along with everything he created; he sees how I respond with every action, thought and word. He remembers them all, but still seeks me to be with him, at this moment – the present moment, and asks me to draw near. He continually seeks to pour his love and grace out upon me – us – his beloved children. He has not abandoned us. He waits for us to choose. Will we give everything away to choose him?
Today’s Gospel message is from Matthew 13:44-52. The parables Jesus speaks about tell us of a man who finds a treasure in a field; he sells everything he has and buys the field. Another searches for a great pearl, finds it and sells everything he has to buy it. In both cases, Jesus seems to be asking me, “what are you holding onto that isn’t of me? You can’t find your way to the Kingdom of God if you keep holding things that have no eternal value. You won’t see the one view of what I want to give you if you keep holding onto those you think defines you; the things in life you think valuable.”
The Gospel ends with a separating of fish caught in a wide net. Each of us will be called individually to stand before him, each accountable for what we held dear, for what we did to prepare for entry to the kingdom of God. Am I all in, one with God, seeking him in all parts of my life? Do I hold anything back? Good questions to ponder and take to my Lord in prayer, with humility and thanksgiving.