Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
By Father Walter Schu, LC
Matthew 6: 19-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you. I believe that you love me, that you are close by my side, and that you will be walking with me throughout this day. I trust in you, Lord. I trust you more than I trust myself, because you are infinitely good and all powerful. I love you, Jesus. I love you because you died on the cross for me, to save me.
Petition: Lord, help me to discover where you are most calling me to store up treasures in heaven.
- Temporal or Eternal Treasures: Who does not long to discover a hidden treasure? The human heart was made for the happiness and security treasure promises, for the joy it brings. But one fundamental problem presents itself: to what kind of treasure should we entrust our heart, our inmost being, our very self? Christ alerts us to the false treasures which tug at our heart each day — earthly treasures of fine clothes, or possessions, or wealth. Each of these treasures can and will be taken from us. At the moment we most need help, the time of our passing to eternity, material belongings will betray us. As the realistic Spanish proverb puts it: “There are no pockets in a shroud.”
- The Deep Longings of the Heart: Christ offers us the one treasure worthy of the human heart, the one treasure that will not betray us, the only one that can accompany us through the grave and across the threshold to eternal life. What is that treasure? It is the person of Christ himself and all of the good actions we do for his sake. Living for Christ alone, loving him above all else, giving up our lives, our very selves for him, constitutes the only treasure rich enough to satisfy the human heart — the only one capable of fulfilling our deepest aspirations. Only this treasure will remain for all eternity, immersing us in a joy that is ever beginning, ever new. “For where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.”
- “The Lamp of the Body”: Christ’s teaching about the eye as the lamp of the body might at first glance seem obscure, unrelated to his previous exhortation to store up treasures in heaven. But a second look reveals an inner link. Exegetes have viewed the eye as the intentions which lie behind our actions. Christ exhorts us to childlike simplicity in all that we do and even in the way we view events and others. If we see Christ in others, if we are able to perceive the Father’s providential hand behind everything that happens to us in life, if all we do is done out of love for Christ, then truly our whole body will be flooded with light.
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for the clear message of your Gospel. Thank you for showing me how to live my life with eternity ever in view. Thank you for being the one treasure that alone can satisfy the longings of my heart.
Resolution: I will do everything this day out of love for Christ and to help establish his Kingdom, renewing my conscious efforts to store up treasures in heaven.