Today’s Gospel: Matthew 6, 19-23
Living in a consumer-oriented society, we are tempted to want to keep up with our neighbors, or the Kardashians or whomever we perceive to have something more or better than we do. We’re tempted to “buy” into the idea that we need things to fulfill us, to give us worth, to make us appear a certain way or alleviate the emptiness we might feel in our hearts. As we acquire more and more, we lose sight of the fact that our value lies not in what we have, but who we are.
Jesus’ words today give us the sense that the people of His time were no different than we. He warns them against accumulating the things of this world – material possessions that don’t last forever. Jesus tells them – and us – to “store up treasures in heaven.” He adds that where our treasure is, our heart will be.
What are these heavenly treasures? I like to think that on Judgment Day, there is a giant ledger where God has recorded all of our good deeds and kind words (which hopefully outweigh our list of sins). These “treasured moments” are the times when we have aligned our heart to God’s heart, and treated others as God would.
When we look at others through God’s eyes – especially those who aren’t valued or valuable in today’s society, namely the poor, the weak, the unborn and the elderly – we see their inherent worth and dignity. Perhaps we even see our own. When we love others as God does, when we care for them as God does, we spread God’s goodness and light in the world. There is no longer a need to acquire on material things. Our focus shifts from the earthly to the eternal.
What steps can we take today to start storing up our treasures in heaven?
Lord, help me to see through your eyes and be a light to others in my words and deeds. Help me to resist the temptations of this world, always mindful of the goodness that awaits us in the world to come.
Copyright 2016 Marie Elena Giossi
Marie Elena Giossi is a wife, mother of two toddlers and a full-time staff reporter at The Tablet newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @MEGiossi.