Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Cost

July 30, 2014
Gospel MT 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”

In college I had the opportunity to read Pensees (literally, thoughts) by Blaise Pascal. Part of the text involves what has famously been referred to as "Pascal's Wager". In it, St. Blaise offers a logical explanation for believing in God and living a Christian lifestyle. If heaven is for real, Pascal argues, then it is a "pearl of great price" and we should do all that we can to live accordingly. Conversely, if heaven is not real and Christ was nothing more than a hoax, living as a disciple of Christ on earth will still grant us a virtuous life free from the pitfalls and dangers of depravity. 
A third possibility exists, though. Imagine if you live as if Christ is not real and, as such, miss out on the immense joy of heaven. Given the 50/50 chance, the prospect of a virtuous life, and the payoff beyond anything we could ever hope or imagine, why would you wager that God does not exist and that Christ was nothing more than a magician?

Of course, hopefully our faith goes deeper than always calling "tails" (you'll be right at least 50% of the time, right?). In fact, considering the trappings and temptations of the world, the conviction required to count up the cost and still choose discipleship must be deeper and stronger than an understanding of statistics.

As followers of Christ, let us joyfully offer up all that we have and all that we are for the "pearl of great price". We already know the outcome of the coin toss. Let us wager correctly. 
Dear Jesus, give us the courage to give You all that we have and all that we are. Despite the cost, let us follow Him.