Collect for the Week
O God, the protector of all that trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal
that we finally lose not the things eternal.
Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen APBA p.565
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 44-46
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Dr Rachel McFadyen
Jesus’ words in today’s gospel remind us that nothing is more important than the “kingdom of heaven” – being with Jesus in this life and eternally – and it is worth giving up all else to follow him.
Today is the feast of Mary and Martha, the two sisters who lived in Bethany and, with their brother Lazarus, welcomed Jesus into their home. Mary is remembered as the one who sat with the disciples and listened to him, while Martha was “busy with many things” and wanted Jesus to send her sister back into the kitchen to help. John in his gospel tells us it was Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with precious ointment and wiped them with her hair, but again, it was Martha, the practical one, who came out to meet Jesus on the road when their brother Lazarus had died.
Which sister do you identify with? Rudyard Kipling has a great poem, saying that “The Sons of Martha” are the engineers and road builders of the world, the ones who get things done, while the Sons of Mary are the philosophers and academics, who use the roads without bothering about the details – no question where his sympathies were! But both sisters knew the truth of Jesus’ words in today’s gospel – he is the source of eternal life and there is nothing more important.
you draw near to us in Christ
and make yourself our guest:
amid the cares of our daily lives,
make us attentive to your voice and alert to your presence,
that we may treasure your word above all else.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen. APBA p 565