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Priceless

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Remember those Mastercard commercials? “Airline tickets, $600… designer luggage, $175… spending a tropical vacation with the family, priceless! There are some things in life that money can’t buy…. for everything else there is Mastercard.”

Today’s Gospel calls us to consider what is truly valuable, as we hear familiar parables about hidden treasure, a pearl of great price, and the priceless nature of the kingdom of God.

Jesus invites us to transform our thinking. He doesn’t want us to imagine God’s kingdom in ways that make us passive subjects. It’s dynamic. The coming of God’s kingdom is personal. It speaks of God’s passionate desire for us.

God sees us, even in our sin, as treasures, pearls of great price, and doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice His only Son so that we might be redeemed and become His own … It’s all about the gift!

And what of our response in recognizing that gift; that pearl of great price that each of us are in God’s eyes? We are commissioned to go and do likewise, by giving ourselves away for others… become that gift to one another. St Paul called it: “being conformed to the image of the Son.” Our St. Dominic mission statement doesn’t say it any better: “...become Christ, each one for the sake of all.”

Mountain Top Experiences

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Have you ever had a "mountain top" experience? One of those experiences or moments in life that you just don't want to end? Moments of seeing god to clearly and feeling his presence to powerfully that you want the moment to last forever?

The Transfiguration was a mountain top experience for Peter, James, and John. Jesus was revealed to them in all his glory at the top of Mount Tabor. They were so happy, so amazed, so in awe that they didn't want to leave. With any mountain top experience, we always have to come down from the mountain. The experience is meant to spur us into action. Jesus and the disciples still had a mission to fulfill, they couldn't just sit on the mountain. Yes that experience of grace transformed their hearts.

My prayer is that we too travel to the top of the mountain to be transformed and spurred into action to share God's love with others.

The Chair of St. Peter

When my family and I vacationed in Italy, it was one of the best experiences of our lives. The highlight of our trip was visiting Rome and attending Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. In the basilica there is a huge altar honoring the Chair of St. Peter. Breathtaking!

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter in February. It brings to my mind the lineage of the popes through the ages who have led the people of God, focusing on the mission of Christ who came not to abolish the law of the prophets, but to fulfill them. It makes me think of how popes have struggled through conflict, indeed--sin, some not so successfully, to Christ's vision of a more sincere, more perfect fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

In His continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's message to us is ultimately that of love - to be reconciled to your neighbor - to respect your brothers and sisters. 

Let's be mindful of the legacy that the popes have left us - to fulfill the Law and the Prophets more perfectly through Christ's command to love one another. St. Peter, pray for us!

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