There is this story that a certain General Yamashita during World War II brought most of the gold from the Southeast Asian countries that they controlled to the Philippines with the intention of eventually bringing it back to Japan. Whether this is true or not is debatable, but even today there are many groups still trying to find this gold. Why? They think and believe once they find the gold they will live happily ever after.
My dear friends, in this life we may not be gold hunters but we can ask ourselves: “What am I looking for to live happily ever after?”
The Gospel tells us three things on how to find the “Pearl of Great Price” in this life?
First, like any treasure, it cannot be “seen.” We are reminded of the saying that things that count in life, do not actually count. The things that cannot be counted, are the ones that truly count in life. One cannot count love, hope, faith, forgiveness, generosity, and laughter, but they are the things that matter in life. Once I visited a friend at the office I used to work for. While catching up, we had a good, good laugh. We were approached by one of the consultants, who in fact was an expat. He said, “I would trade anything in my life to have that kind of laughter.”
Second, like any treasure, it has to be worked hard for. While preparing to treasure hunt entails a lot of hard work, so it is also with finding the Pearl of Great Price. In the Parable of the talents, we are reminded that each person is blessed differently, but it is how we use the talents that matter. If you look at the lives of people who are very blessed we all find out that their lives were not easy. In the process, they got hurt, they got betrayed, they experienced failure and disappointment but they never gave up.
Third, the treasure is worth everything in life. Each of us has our own purpose, mission, and calling in life. When we find that mission, calling, and purpose we find our place in this world. As someone once said, “the two happiest days in a person’s life are: the day he was born and the day he finds his purpose in life.” When one is faithful to his or her own calling, life becomes meaningful and fulfilling.
In this life, we realize that we are searching for our own Pearl of Great Price. Among all the saints, the one who had the most interesting search in life was St. Augustine. The expression, “Been there, done that” would aptly describe his life. Eventually, he would find his peace, meaning, and fulfillment in God thanks to the prayers of his mom, St. Monica, and the homily of St. Ambrose. Hence, how true is the saying, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything will be added unto you.” Indeed in our search for true treasure, we will all end up with God.