“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.” - Ezra Taft Benson: (1899 –1994: was an American farmer, government official, and religious leader who served as United States Secretary of Agriculture during both presidential terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Gospel Text: (MT 6:19-23)
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.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”
Whatever we choose as the treasure of our life, there will our heart gravitate. There will we spend the energies of our heart, mind and soul. But how does one go about choosing one’s treasure? Is this process of choosing purely random and spontaneous? Or does it come about by virtue of where we train the gaze of our soul?
As Christian realists, we believe that knowledge comes through the senses. What we choose to look at has a profound influence on whether we choose something earthly as the treasure we will serve, or whether we choose God’s self-sacrifice of Jesus in the Eucharist as our treasure.
As I was growing up in New Jersey, my family lived by the concept that “Your reward will be in heaven”. It was that response to me (many times communicated without words) when I would express concern (complain) about one irritation, struggle, or painful reminder of life’s many difficulties. They weren’t offering a hollow reply either; rather, they truly believed that there was an everlasting reward for living a life of gratitude, prayer, and dedication to family, friends, community, and church.