Discovery of Ancient Pearls That Are Very Valuable Today

Discovery of Ancient Pearls That Are Very Valuable Today

Our Savior continues to unfold the “secrets of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 13:11), but He switches gears a bit in today’s passage to emphasize a truth about the kingdom other than its slow, pervasive growth (vv. 31–33) and the apparent delay of its consummation (vv. 24–30, 36–43). With the parables of the hidden treasure (v. 44) and the pearl of great price (vv. 45–46), Jesus conveys powerfully the worth of the kingdom.

Whatever we might say about each parable individually, both tales indicate the kingdom is of such inestimable value that those who understand this truth will do whatever it takes to possess it. If we know God’s kingdom in Christ truly, we will not consider it too costly to sell all that we have if that is what it takes to appropriate the kingdom and its treasure. Commenting on the parable of the hidden treasure Situs Toto, Matthew Henry writes of the kingdom: “Those who discern this treasure in the field, and value it aright, will never be at ease until they have made it their own on any terms.”

Again, Jesus uses illustrations to which His contemporaries can easily relate. Given the potential for political instability and invasions, as well as the non-existence of safety deposit boxes, ancient Jews often buried their valuables. Sometimes these treasures were abandoned, and finding one that had been left behind was a once-in-a-lifetime event. That such a treasure is found indicates the kingdom’s rarity and therefore, its preciousness. Pearls were more highly valued in first-century Palestine than diamonds are in our culture. Other biblical passages use pearls to illustrate all-surpassing worth (Rev. 21:21), and so Jesus likens the kingdom to a precious pearl.

These parables teach us primarily how we must value Jesus’ kingdom. Yet they also tell us about the people our Redeemer saves. As with the man in the field, some “stumble upon” Christ when they are not looking for Him. Others travel various spiritual paths for years before “finding Jesus,” just as the merchant searches tirelessly for the costliest pearl. God’s grace calls the spiritually apathetic as well as those who believe themselves to be seeking Him.

Coram Deo

John Calvin says we need the teaching of today’s passage because ”we are so captivated by the allurements of the world, that eternal life fades from our view; and in consequence of our carnality, the spiritual graces of God are far from being held by us in the estimation which they deserve.” On what do you place highest value? Do friends, family, possessions, or anything else take the place of God’s kingdom in your heart NANA4D?

Tautan Terkait :

God’s Plan Never Fails

 God's Plan Never Fails

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Shalom. Brothers and sisters in Christ’s love. Perhaps on this earth, there is no one who has experienced suffering as severe as Job’s. Why? Job experienced extraordinary suffering. Job lost all his sons and daughters. Not stopping there, Job also lost all his wealth at the same time. (Job 1:13-19)

And the suffering didn’t stop there; Job suffered from head to toe. (Job 2:7)

But Job’s suffering didn’t stop there either; Job’s wife cursed him (Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”). Job’s friends who came to him did not strengthen him, but they seemed to accuse Job of doing something unworthy or accuse Job of sinning against God.

We can imagine and feel if we were Job. We would experience extraordinary suffering. Losing all the beloved children, losing all wealth, getting sick all over the body, having our wives against us, and also friends accusing us.

There is one word that can summarize all of Job’s suffering, namely “LOSS”. Job lost his sons. Job lost his wealth. Job lost his health. Job lost his wife. Job lost his friends.

If we read why Job experienced this suffering? The answer is because Job loved God, because Job feared God. We all worship God so that we are kept away from all dangers and suffering. But Job experienced LOSS of everything because of his loyalty to God.

Then what if this happens to us? We are faithful to God with a genuine fear of God, but we experience tremendous suffering? When the devil tried Job, God didn’t speak to Job at all. God didn’t answer Job’s prayers.

If God had told Job, “Job, later the devil will try you with all great trials, but don’t be afraid I am with you”. Surely Job would be strong, Job would answer God: “Okay God, I’m ready”. But the reality is God didn’t tell anything to Job. Job wanted to bring this matter to God, but God remained SILENT. (Job 23:4 “I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.”)

Instead, in God’s SILENCE, God is working. God proves that all the accusations of the devil against Job are wrong. Job loves God not because of all the gifts of God but Job loves God himself. Job loves the Giver, not his gifts (Job 1:21 he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”)

Perhaps you are currently experiencing a major problem and God is silent. You have prayed, you have cried out to God. But God remains SILENT. But through Job, we learn that when God is silent, God is working for His glory. When God tested Job, whether he loved God because of God’s gifts or God himself, God took away all His gifts to Job. And we will see what Job’s reaction is.

Likewise, with us. Currently understanding that Job lost all the gifts of God, but Job still loves the Giver. Because there is still something left for Job. Namely, when Job is tested by the devil, God says: just spare his life. (Job 2:6)

We must be grateful to God for whatever He still entrusts to us. (There is still something left for us) Because God will surely still give us something. And even if we have to lose our lives, we still have Jesus who cannot be taken from us. (Romans 8:39) We are grateful not because of the situation or condition, but we are grateful because we have JESUS.

If we are grateful for the gifts of God, while we live, we get older, we lose more and more. When we were babies, we were pampered and lived leisurely. But as we grow up, we have to learn to walk on our own. We lose the embrace of our parents and have to start school. We lose time to relax and play. Then we start graduating from school and have to earn money, starting to lose comfort and worry about the future. And continue to mature until finally aging and starting to lose our health. At its peak, we will lose our lives. Yes, that’s life, if we live gratefully for the situation and condition, then our lives will be full of loss. But if we live because we have Jesus, then peace, joy, and thanksgiving will never be lost in our lives.

So God proved the devil’s accusation wrong against Job, through God allowing the devil to take away everything Job had, including his health and what he loved. And God was silent. But in all this, God works in His own way (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

God’s plan for Job happened, Job remained faithful and loved God. Job remained hopeful and relied on God. So Job said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2) And God restored Job, and Job received twice as much as what he had before. (Job 42:10)

We learn a lot from Job’s experience. Job had the lowest standard of living, namely he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised!” (Job 1:21)

If we die wearing clothes, and using a coffin, that is an advantage that we have. This is not easy for us to understand and feel. For that, we need the strength of the Holy Spirit who always accompanies us. We also learn that God’s silence is a time when God works to see our faith.

When we lose the gifts of God, what is our reaction? Do we complain, grumble, or get angry with God? Moreover, we are tested because of our obedience to God. Because of our loyalty to God, we experience trials. This feels unfair to us. But that’s where God works to overcome all the devil’s accusations against Job. God has a beautiful plan for all of us.

Let us walk in God’s plan. Although sometimes God does not reveal His plan to us. There is one thing we must hold onto, namely GOD is GOOD. He will not harm us. He has a beautiful plan. Although we may not see His face, not hear the voice of God, still believe in Him. (Matthew 5:36B “Do not be afraid, just believe!”). May the Lord Jesus bless you. Amen.

Relics of St. Thomas Aquinas Carried in Procession for the 750th Anniversary of His Death

Relics of St. Thomas Aquinas Carried in Procession for the 750th Anniversary of His Death

PRIVERNO, Gtpministries.org – On the 750th anniversary of the death of St. Thomas Aquinas, skull revered as a relic of St. Thomas Aquinas is carried in a solemn procession through the cobbled streets of the southern Italian city of Priverno. Bishop Preverino, Msgr. Mariano Crociata led a procession in honor of the medieval philosopher and theologian. St. Thomas Aquinas is considered one of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization who died near Fossanova Monastery on March 7, 1274.

Relics of St. Thomas Aquinas has been venerated in Priverno Cathedral since the 12th century. Previously, the relics of St. Thomas Aquinas was discovered on an altar near the Fossanova Monastery in 1585. There are documents indicating that the reliquary remains of part of the head of St. Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas originally belonged to “Doctor Angelicus”.

Head Priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annuziata Priverno, Father Alessandro Trani said in the City of Preverino, St. Thomas Aquinas is considered its patron.

“Here St. Thomas spent the last days of his life,” Father Trani told CNA.

“[Aquinas] stayed with his cousin in the Castle of Maenza, and from there he asked to be taken to the Abbey of Fossanova, where he ended his earthly pilgrimage.”

Aquinas died at the age of 48 in a monastery located about halfway between Naples and Rome after falling ill while on his way to attend the Council of Lyons. Three months before his death, Aquinas experienced a profound revelation while offering Mass. At that time, he had almost completed his most important work, the Summa Theologiae or “Summary of Theology.”

After experiencing this revelation, St. Thomas Aquinas told his secretary Father Reginald of Priverno: “The end of my work has come. All that I had written seemed mere straw after the things that had been revealed to me,” and he never wrote again.

Relics of St. Thomas Aquinas was kept at the Fossanova Monastery until 1369 when his relics were moved to Toulouse, France, where the Order of Preachers was founded and Aquinas’ tomb can be venerated today in the Jacobin Church.

The reliquary in Priverno is one of two skulls currently claimed by Church officials to be those of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Dominicans in Toulouse recently commissioned a new relic of St. John’s skull. Thomas Aquinas, who has toured France and abroad.

The procession and celebration of Aquinas in Priverno is part of the biennial celebration of the jubilee of St. Thomas Aquinas by the Order of Preachers. During the jubilee year, Catholics can obtain a plenary indulgence by making a pilgrimage to a holy site associated with the Dominican Order.

The double jubilee year of the Dominican Order will end after the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas on January 28, 2025, the 800th anniversary of Aquinas’ birth. Aquinas was born in 1225 in the Italian city of Roccasecca, about 75 miles southeast of Rome, which at that time was part of the Kingdom of Sicily.

Mgr. Crociata led the procession in Priverno after the Mass in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas in a packed cathedral.

Why Isn’t the Alleluia Sung During Lent?

Why Isn't the Alleluia Sung During Lent?

JAKARTA, Gtpministries.org – Alleluia comes from the Hebrew “Hallelu-Ya” , ‘Praise God’. The reason why during Lent is not the “Alleluia” sung?

The forty days of Lent are intended to remind believers of the Israelites’ forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Thus, Lent is a time of self-reflection and cleansing, a reminder that there was a time when humanity was “unredeemed.” Lent is a time when every believer wanders in a “spiritual desert,” waiting for the Savior.

Apart from Alleluia, the song “Gloria/Glory” which echoes the words of the angels at the birth of Jesus, was also omitted. In addition, the Responsorial Psalm is taken from the Repentant Psalm or other psalms which express the attitude of “crying out” to God in times of trial. For altar decorations, it is also recommended not to overdo it, there are even suggestions to eliminate flowers as altar decorations.

All these changes help people to focus their hearts on repentance and direct their lives more perfectly to God’s will, through penance and prayer.

Fasting from Words

For the seven weeks of Lent, the Church “fasts” by not singing or reciting “Alleluia”. Why is it called “fasting”. This is because fasting is not only a lesson in self-discipline, but also an entry into deeper prayer. St. Isaac the Syrian, a bishop of the Eastern Church who lived in the seventh century, once wrote: “When a person begins to fast, he immediately thinks of having a conversation with God.” The Alleluia Fast (and other joyful prayers) is part of the spiritual practice during Lent.

Lent is an opportunity to focus prayer, to acknowledge something that the modern secular world rejects. We are sinners in need of repentance and salvation. Although through baptism we have been washed from original sin and clothed with grace, we can tarnish or even destroy it with sinful thoughts or actions. When we fast, we see how we may have strayed from God’s plan for our lives.

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