June 17, 2016
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. Mt_6:19-23
In our world today, there are so many sources of darkness, that if we allow them to overcome us, our lives themselves will become filled with despair.
And we may not even realize that what’s being fed into our eyes, and our ears, and our hearts IS darkness. But it is there, whether we like it or not: from the obnoxious, pounding music coming from the car next to us at the traffic light, to the suggestive billboards on the highway; from the headlines in our newspapers and magazines to the sensationalized, and biased, and bigoted remarks on the radio and TV news. It’s all darkness that wounds our souls.
So, how do we avoid it all?
And what can we do to protect ourselves?
Jesus gives us the answer in our Gospel reading today. He says, “Where your treasure is, there also, will your heart be.”
If our Treasure is this beautiful, blue pearl of earth that we inhabit, we could get very discouraged when we see that same environment abused and misused. And that’s the darkness.
And yet, on the other hand, if we focus on all of the efforts we’ve employed to preserve nature; things like emissions controls, creative waste treatment, and our use of clean, natural energy resources, the picture becomes a lot brighter. It truly IS a wonderful Treasure.
But then again, should the Earth BE our primary Treasure? Will it offer to us, or to God, any kind of eternal reward?
So, OK, then what if our Treasure is Humanity, instead? We could still get very discouraged when we hear about wars and riots, about natural disasters and all of this erratic craziness we keep seeing.
And yet, on the other hand, IF we truly look, we will also find remarkable examples of caring, and volunteerism, and sacrifice to help one another; not only in times of trouble, but ALL the time, and All over the globe! It’s a beautiful Treasure.
But, should even humanity BE our primary Treasure? Will it offer to us, or to God, any kind of eternal reward?
You see, mankind has Treasured material existence since the very beginning of time, even to the extent of actually worshiping material gods. And mankind has worshiped other humans in the forms of god-like heroes, and kings, and warriors, as long as we can remember.
But Jesus is telling us today, that our Treasure needs to be greater than the material planet and even greater than our fellow human family.
Our Treasure actually needs to be
But then we might argue, that God is IN nature, and that God is IN our fellow humans. And if that’s our stance, then you see, brothers and sisters, we truly ARE well on our way to finding that Treasure and to understanding that IN God there really is NO darkness.
If we can keep our focus on God, on Jesus, and on the Sacred Scriptures that God uses to teach us about Himself and about ourselves, then that Treasure has penetrated our very hearts. And rather than allowing the darkness of everything else to overwhelm us, God’s Light instead, will be shining FROM our eyes into the darkness, to make that Nature and that Humanity – BE – the Kingdom we so desperately seek.
For where our treasure is, there also, will our hearts be!
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