An elderly gentleman of my acquaintance:
"We've got a lovely garden, but I don't enjoy it. If the weather is sunny I am obliged to undertake all sorts of gardening tasks: mowing the lawn, cutting the hedges, weeding, thinning out shrubs, mulching, sometimes moving plants that I'm told 'don't look right where they are' or 'would do better over there'. It can go on all weekend with no let-up. It's a tyranny. Our neighbour just has a rectangular lawn and a few roses. When it's sunny, he just gets out his deckchair and sits and reads in the sun. I would settle for something far less pretty than ours, if only I could get to enjoy it!"
Similarly an academic friend of mine:
" I used to love reading, but since I started on this course, I've grown to dislike it intensely. I've got so many set texts that I have to devote a good portion of my day to just keeping up with them. Then there's the secondary scholarship: vast, in my field. A lot of it is really old and dry as dust and largely discredited, but I need to understand the evolution of the arguments. Sometimes I find that I have been just scanning the words and turning the pages - and I realise I haven't taken any of it in. It's just words, words, words.... Now I get really agitated when I sit down with a book and look forward to making a coffee or whatever - even before I get started. It's horrible: I don't get any pleasure out of reading now. It's just a chore. When I see people with the latest best-seller or a magazine I get really envious."
Today's Gospel reading (Matthew 13:44) concerns the man who discovers a treasure of great value buried in a field. He covers it back over, goes and sells all he has and buys the field.
My question is this:
What if he later realises that the treasure he uncovered is not worth the price he paid for it?