Precious Pearls

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time | July 26, 2020

See today’s readings here. Video recordings of the Sunday evening Mass, where Fr. Brian regularly preaches, are available on Facebook at Delaware Koinonia. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found hereSalesian Sermons

So this past week, I have been participating in the Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge.

It has been a ton of resources:  articles, videos, prayers.  And I have been gently working my way through them all.

But then last night, I click on a video and I am stunned to see an Ursuline student on the screen.

Whitney, one of the stars of our Sallies musical . . . Ragtime, offering a crash course in microaggressions as a junior in high school.  Yeah, I was a tad star-struck.

And as I listened, I was struck by this one line.

So many of us, we struggle with the imposter syndrome.  The belief that we do not belong here.  That we are not good enough to make it here.

And though I am not a person of color.

I understood that feeling.  That feeling of being an imposter.

For how many times have I looked in the mirror and shook my head.

Who am I fooling?  I will never be what people expect me to be.

I am not good enough.

How often do each of us struggle with this belief?

This belief that we are simply not enough.

That we are not smart enough

That we will never be pretty enough.

That we are too fat.  Too weak.

That our skin color is too dark.  That we love the wrong people.

That we too often fail.  As spouses and parents.  As kids and friends.

As employees and as disciples.

Imposters, one and all.

But then I read this Gospel and I cannot help but shrink back from the implications.

For our God does not see imposters.

On the contrary, God looks at us and sees the precious treasure discovered in the field.  We are the pearl of great price.  Not fool’s gold or imitation pearls.  But the real deal.

And our God, the Word made flesh, gave everything he possessed to gain each of us.

He endured the cross so that he could enter into a relationship with us.

He died so that we might live.  That we might be free to become who we were destined to be.

It doesn’t make sense.

Nothing about this Gospel makes sense.

For this is not how the world is supposed to work.

This love that is so freely given, should have been earned!

We should have had to prove our worthiness.  Our authenticity.  

But that is not how our God works.

We don’t earn grace.  We don’t earn the Spirit.  We don’t earn God’s love.

It is ours.

It has always been ours.  And it will always be ours.

We must simply allow ourselves to dwell within this love.

Like a gentle spring rain.  We let it fall upon us.

Washing away our shame and guilt

Our disgust and pain.  Our regret and failure.

Our sense of inadequacy and our carefully constructed masks.

And then we choose to live as the precious pearls that we are.  Shining brillant in the noonday sun.  Spreading our joy and love into every corner of our world, however small those horizons may be.

Pouring that same unconditional love on our sisters and brothers.  Until they too can claim their sacred identity.  Until they too no longer feel like imposters.  But family. Dwelling in the shelter of the almighty.  Who was and is and will be forever.  Amen  Amen

May God be Praised

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