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First Reading

1 Kings 3:5, 7-12

1. “Understanding” or “shōmē’a” in Hebrew means listening or obedient. How would the world be different if those in leadership positions (parent, teacher, boss, political leaders, religious leaders) earnestly prayed Solomon’s prayer: “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart”? What impact might “listening” have on good leadership?

2. Would anyone’s life change for the better if you had more of an understanding heart? How do you think you might improve your skills in this area?

Second Reading

Romans 8:28-30

1. The New American Bible translation is “All things work together for those who love God.” Suffering is inevitable in human life. Even so, can all things work together for those who love God?
2. How about the man who sells everything to buy the field where he found the buried treasure? Is this an example of all things working for the good? Explain.


Matthew 13:44-52 or 44-46

1. Did the pearlfinder and the merchant have to be shrewd about obtaining their treasures? What about you? Are you shrewd about recognizing the “treasure” or the kingdom of God in your life? Do you find God, or at least look for God, in all things in your life? Do you notice when God is “whispering,” or just when God is “shouting” in your life?

2. What does Pope Francis say is the “Pearl of great price? How would you rank as treasures the graces that come from this “pearl:” truth, mercy and joy?

The good news is the precious pearl of which we read in the gospel. It is not a thing but a mission. This is evident to anyone who has experienced the “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing” (Evangelii Gaudium, 10). …

Good news. A single word—gospel—that, even as it is spoken, becomes truth, brimming with joy and mercy. We should never attempt to separate these three graces of the gospel: its truth, which is non-negotiable; its mercy, which is unconditional and offered to all sinners; and its joy, which is personal and open to everyone. Truth, mercy and joy: these three go together.

  “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus” (ibid., 1)

Holy Chrism Mass Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
April 13, 2017

Anne Osdieck
Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go