God devised a secret treasure for people & he gave it to the angels to bring to earth instructing them to hide it so that people would have to search for it & might have the joy of finding it. When asked where to hide it he replied, “ Put it in reach of everybody, rich or poor, healthy or weak. Plant it in the centre of their beings, hide it in their hearts.”

In our first reading, Solomon asks God for a “discerning heart.” The strength of a good king is within his heart, for the kingdom is within us. But if the heart’s centre no longer holds, then all falls apart. Our lives at time of crisis threaten to fall apart & our successes appear empty, our achievements hollow & the very meaning of life is now questioned. When the outer walls are crumbling, it is a sure sign to start searching for the cause within. If the church should listen to the cries of its critics, so too must each individual befriend the disturbing voices that come from the heart; dreams, feelings of dissatisfaction, blanket anxiety, blind compulsions & fundamental self questioning.

It is tempting to run from the question by plunging into diversionary behaviour, or do we stay with the painful cry & pay the price for the field? At holiday time, our kind of holiday will indicate a quest for diversion or an opportunity for reflection, the former will paper the cracks, reflection seeks the causes that may be deeply buried within.

The two parables of the treasure and the pearl differ in one circumstance, the treasure is uncovered by accident, the pearl is found after deliberate searching. Whichever way, everything is sold to lay hands upon it. Writers use the image of climbing mountains or moving from the outer walls of a castle to the inner centre. We are called to grow and asked to pay the price.

But the treasure is worth the price, the pearl at the centre if the heart is beautiful beyond words, its beauty is the reflection of God within you. This is the secret treasure hidden by the angels.

If we discover that divine beauty within ourselves then the price will not be noticed