Why would a victim of kidnapping ever return to the land where he was once was taken by force and then made a slave? What would cause a person to go back to a place where he endured so much suffering and hardship? Was it revenge or hidden treasure that brought him back? The answer is baffling. Revenge was not his motive, but hidden treasure could have played a role in his return. This man in particular decided to go and serve the very inhabitants of the island from which he had escaped some decades earlier. It doesn't make logical sense.
Was it revenge or hidden treasure that brought him back?
He must have had a message so important, so life transforming AND saving that he felt driven to deliver it to all he encountered, even to the land of his former oppressors, the Druids. That's exactly what Maewyn Succat did. We now know him as St. Patrick because of his conviction not only to forgive, but to go back and share the important truth with the people of Ireland, forever changing the spiritual landscape. Many people around the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day (the date of his death, March 17, 461 A.D.) BUT it is important to understand the great message of love that inspired this celebration and yet can so easily get overlooked by all the commercialism. There is also a treasure, more vast than a pot of gold found at the end of the rainbow, that St. Patrick indeed found.
There is a treasure more vast than a pot of gold.
So while we may decorate and celebrate, let us look at why this man choose to do something so radical as to lay down his own desires and wishes for what he felt was more important, the desires of God, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
AND what about that hidden treasure that makes a pot of gold look like pennies?
He found clues to the treasure in the words of Jesus here . . .
"And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:31-36
and here . . .
And Jesus came and said to them,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28: 18-20
Then there were these clues in a letter to Timothy from the Apostle Paul.
1 Timothy 6:6-19
But godliness with contentment is great gain for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
While gathered around the table celebrating, it is interesting to discuss the clues of this hidden treasure and to ponder all that St. Patrick learned.
He went and demonstrated to the people of Ireland the God of the Holy Scriptures, the true living God that was not man made but Who made man. It is widely thought that he used the shamrock to illustrate how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were and are three in ONE. The beauty of this is that the true God, creator of you and me, loves us and made a way for us, sinful man to be reconciled back to Him for all eternity, through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus. Each leaf of the shamrock is heart shaped and is beautifully designed to show off the love of the Trinity. The real treasure is found in Christ Jesus and sharing that news with others.
Here is another clue on how to find imperishable treasure from the lips of Jesus.
"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" Matthew 16: 25-26
Just imagine, if Maewyn never went back to Ireland. All that would have been lost!
Thankfully, he did, so Happy St. Patrick's Day!
With humility and boldness,
Stay humble & BOLD!
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalm 34:8 KJV
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