What is your greatest goal in life today? What is that which you can say is the only thing you need and want to satisfy you as a person? What is that which you ceaselessly and consistently seek to attain? What is that which is most important for you as a Christian today? In today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Matthew chapter 13, verse 44 to 52, Jesus uses some parables to teach us what our goal should be and what is most important to us as Christians. For Jesus, our goal should be to attain the kingdom of heaven and be with Him. He emphasizes this as He states that, “the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” What exactly is this treasure of great importance that these men found and give up everything for? With these two parables, Jesus teaches us that the greatest treasure we have is our faith in God. Hence, He wants us to truly and sincerely appreciate our faith him Him, and to be grateful for His presence in our lives. Pay attention to the reaction of the men in the first two parables. When they found the treasure of great value they were searching for, they were filled with happiness and joy, that they sold everything they had to get it. That is exactly what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to be overwhelmingly excited and happy with our faith in Him by getting rid of everything in order to keep that faith we have in Him, by appreciating it, by nurturing it, and by strengthening it. Are you willing to give up everything to be with God in heaven after your life here on earth? Are you willing to forfeit all to attain the kingdom of heaven? Are you willing to make God the center and focus of your life to attain His kingdom in heaven? When we are told by Jesus to give up or forfeit everything for the kingdom of God, He wants to not only call our attention to that which is most important, but to remind us of the consequences of not deepening our faith in Him as well as, the consequences of not making it to heaven. This was what He explained in the third parable when He said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Hence, Jesus wants us to truly and sincerely appreciate His presence in our lives and to attain His kingdom. How can we achieve this happiness? How can we show appreciation to Him for all the blessings, graces and mercies He bestows upon us? What exactly are we doing to attain the kingdom of heaven? How hard are we working to attain His kingdom? Since the treasure explained by Jesus in the first two parables is our faith in God, that is, our belief in Him shown in our thoughts, words and actions, He calls us today to happily and joyfully welcome our faith in Him, by giving up everything so as to keep that faith, appreciate it, nurture it, and strengthen it. So let us do so today through Prayer, Patience and Perseverance.