"The Pearl of Great Price" and "The Woman at the Well" beautifully retold in a short animated video

The video below is a kind of retelling of the parable of the pearl of great price, and also a bit of the story of the Woman at the Well.

The parable of the pearl of great price is a brief one:

Jesus said, 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. (Matt 13:45-46)

And as for the Woman at the Well, that story is too long to reproduced here but the pertinent facts are that a woman comes every day to a well that symbolizes the world. And that well gives water, but a kind of water that keeps her thirsty. Every day she has to come back for more with her water Jar. Jesus asks her to consider how the well (i.e. this world) cannot really satisfy the God-sized hole in her heart, that He alone can ultimately fulfill her deepest longing. After leading her through stages of faith and repentance, Jesus brings her to the point that she leaves her water jar behind to go and tell others of the joy she has found in Christ.

The video below tells a similar story. A young girl is playing in the sandbox of this world, creatively building with its resources. Around her neck is a locket which symbolizes her greatest treasure from this world, her “idol,” if you will. What exactly that worldly treasure or idol is, that is  for you to answer. Perhaps it is popularity, possessions, power, or some pleasure.

But as the world, with its false promises of lasting joy often does, her worldly creations and accomplishments are swept away in a moment by a huge wave. Her idol cannot save her, it too is swept away. Sic transit gloria mundi

But she must recover it! She must regain her foothold in this world’s passing pleasures and powerless idols! So she dives even deeper into this tumultuous world, as if willing to experiences its most deadly forces, if only she can get back what she lost, what the world cruelly took back! Her idol not only cannot help her, it is what leads her into the very jaws of death.

She dies in the process, never getting her idol back. She is like so many of us who will risk our eternal salvation, diving ever deeper into this world’s peril if only we can gain its treasures. Even if it kills us, and lands us in Hell, we want what it offers. Idols kill, only God gives life.

But then comes the paradox, the twist in the story. For her death becomes an image of baptism. In dying to this world, she awakens from the waters, to a new life. And the Lord has placed a gift in her hand, a pearl of great price! God has taken the very waters that led to her death and through them, drawn her through them to new life.

Awakening to this new life she looks into her hand and sees her pearl of great price. In an instant we can tell that she has forgotten her sand castles, and her locket/idol. And she runs forth to tell others what she has found.

And just like the woman at the well who left her water jar behind to run and tell others about Jesus who was now her living water, thus we see the once treasured locket washing up on shore, as the young girl, with her greater treasure, runs to share her joy, the locket forgotten and left behind.

Enjoy this video. It has the interesting quality of having been sketched out but not fully finished. Maybe that is because you have to finish it, and fill in its lively colors with your life.

7 Replies to “"The Pearl of Great Price" and "The Woman at the Well" beautifully retold in a short animated video”

  1. So often I read your blog, and it hits me between the eyes. I’m considering a major career change that will be a significant financial change. I often waiver about that, but you remind me about how I’m selling what I have to purchase the pearl of great price. I can have a comfortable life now or I can choose to serve God. Thank you for being God’s voice among all of the other worldly voices.

    1. I too am struggling with the idea of leaving a job to more closely follow Christ, not as a religious – I’m married with kids. I’ll say a pray for you.

      1. Thank you Nathan. I am the primary support for my family, so i understand your conerns. i’ll say a prayer for you as well.

  2. Wait a minute R in Indiana and Nathan, I am forced to change my jobs now and face a real life choice involving the ability to support my family and how I choose to use whatever talents I may have. I just haven’t been able to see my path very well. I guess that in all things we should say to the Lord, Thy will be done. And I am praying for you both.

    Also, while I can see the beauty in that video, I couldn’t see either the Pearl of Great Price or the Woman at the Well until I read Fr. Pope’s words–at least as beautiful as the video itself.

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