“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13: 44-46)
On this Christmas Day, let us rejoice and give thanks for the many blessings we have received in our lives, including the most precious gift of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we think about the value of our families, our health, our optimism toward an abundant future, the worth is incalculable in human terms. Perhaps the “one pearl of great price” described in the parable of the pearl, which all ultimately seek, and would pay much if it could be purchased, is a sustainable sense of peace, calm and joy in our spirit. This peace that knows no human understanding doesn’t depend on job security, smart kids, wealth or social status. God doesn’t need us to impress him with our human prowess, intellect, and accomplishments.
The great price we must pay for the “pearl” of inner peace is dying to self, our ambitions, our control, and replacing all with an unequivocal and unconditional surrender of our lives to Jesus. Acknowledging that we are truly nothing and have nothing without the infinite love and mercy of Jesus, we must empty ourselves of any pretense of power or greatness, yielding all that we do and all that we think we should do to the will of God.
As an empty vessel, we can ask God to fill this void with His love, allowing His will and purpose for us to take first position. When we give up control and start each day with the prayer, “Lord, do with me as you will”, we are on our way to acquiring the pearl of great value, which is lasting peace and joy, knowing that our eternal reward in heaven is within reach!