Yates owned a barren sheep ranch in western Texas. During the depression, he could not pay his mortgage and was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for basic needs, his family struggled to meet both ends. As they prayerfully waited with hope for God’s intervention, a crew from an oil company came into the area and asked permission to drill a wildcat well on the property.
They drilled about a thousand feet and struck a huge oil reserve so big that thirty years later, a test of his field showed that it still could produce one million barrels of oil a day! The oil field known as the “Yates’ pool” had always been there, but the Yates family had suffered poverty, unaware of the treasure hidden in their sheep ranch. The family has had a different story since they found the treasure.
We cannot find an oil field, as Yates did. However, we can find the treasures of God’s Kingdom hidden in the Scriptures, sacraments, prayer, family relationships, and community living.
Through these, we can recognize the treasures of the Kingdom around us. Consequently, like the man in the parable, we will want to invest in our newfound treasures. The man was so full of joy over discovering the hidden treasure that he sold all he had and bought the whole field. He found the value of the treasure too great to ignore and walk away!
Probably he was visualizing a new beginning, new possibilities, and a new life the treasure offered. His emphasis was not on what he was giving up but on the new life offered by the newly found treasure.
The parable of the pearl is much like the first parable. The treasure hunter knew that nothing he owned could compare to the pearl he had found, so he sold all he had to buy it. The difference between the two was that the second was actively looking for the treasure. Through these parables, Jesus calls us to reflect on the choices we make daily.
Are we ignoring and walking away from the treasures of God’s Kingdom revealed to us through the Scriptures, sacraments, family prayer, relationships, and community living, or are we recognizing their value and doing all we can to attain it? How much are we willing to sacrifice to find the treasures that lead to a meaningful life? Are we actively searching for the Hidden Treasures?