“…do not store up for yourselves…where your treasure is, there also will be your heart…the lamp of the body is the eye”
Oh how ‘things’ can control our life! Things we ‘need’, things we ‘want’, things to ‘make life easier’, things to prove ‘status’, ‘wealth’, ‘happiness’, ‘achievement’. Things to fill our time, our homes, our workplaces. Things to obsess over, worry about, and sometimes hoard! I sometimes think ‘things’ are the American way!
In today’s gospel, Jesus shows us another way, the way of God, the way to open us to the ‘treasure’ of living in God’s kingdom. Be careful, he says, pay attention – pay attention to your behaviors, to your longings and to true awareness.
He warns against pleasures that will ‘wear out’ or can be ‘eroded away’…don’t collect, gather or hoard that which can be ‘stolen away’. These kinds of treasures will only lead to disappointment – things like that cannot last forever!
Jesus reminds us that while ‘things’ are not unimportant, they do need to be kept in perspective! Some questions may be ‘do I need this…or want this’? How can I share this? How does this change me – does it feed my ego or open my heart?
If the eye is the window that lets in the light – what smudges do I need to wipe away to see more clearly what is being taken in? The smudges of prejudice, bias, jealousy, self-centeredness can prevent us from seeing clearly, just as ‘things’ can isolate us from the truth and reality that envelops us. We are called to live in harmony with ourselves, others and God. What ‘things’ or ‘smudges’ might be preventing this harmony within you? Today is a good day to spend some time with the Lord – what might he be saying to you or trying to point out to you? Where your treasure is, there also will be your heart…
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.