“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13: 45-46).

A traveling merchant of the East traverses sea and land in search for fine pearls. He is always on the lookout for more and more precious pearls, till one day his long search is finally rewarded. Suddenly his eye falls on a pearl the likes of which he has never thought existed. Its great size, its perfect form, its exquisite beauty, its dazzling light—he had not expected to see such a gem. Learning the great price of the pearl, the merchant sells all he possesses and immediately buys the pearl.

While the world holds many pearls of great value and worth, our blessed Lord Himself is the pearl of all pearls. Knowing that we had sold our own souls away to everlasting loss, Christ entered the soul-market Himself and bought back our souls at an immeasurable price. For He redeemed our souls at the price of His own perfect blood.

Therefore, our Lord counsels us all to sell our other pearls, good and bad, great and small, and buy up our own soul unto everlasting life. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). He says that any man who holds this whole world in one hand and his immortal soul in the other will be a fool if he holds onto the whole world and lets his soul go. Here before your very eye is the greatest and best pearl in all the world. Yet He comes to us as God’s free gift, without money and without price. For the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Adapted from In His Presence