Friday of Week 11 of Ordinary Time – Gospel

Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23

This short passage contains two related teachings. The first may seen as a commentary on the petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread”. It is a teaching about the things which are really valuable, which really count. We live in a highly materialistic world where a very large number of people seem to believe that material wealth is the solution to every problem. There is nothing that money cannot buy, no problem it cannot solve. This belief prevails even though every day it is shown to be false.

Jesus urges us to put our trust and our security in something less perishable, something more lasting. To ‘store up treasure in heaven’ is not just to pile up a whole lot of ‘good works’ which will be to our credit in the next life. That credit too can be very quickly lost. It is much more a question of growing more and more into the kind of person who is steeped in the values and the outlook of the Gospel. It is less a question of doing than of becoming. We also build treasure by what we give away, by sharing with others whatever gifts we have, especially those most in need.

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me. (Matt 25:40)

And, as Jesus so wisely says:

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Obviously, the question for me to ask today is: Where is my treasure? What do I value most in life? And how do I reveal that in the way I live?

And that brings us to the second part:

The eye is the lamp of the body.…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.

It is that light which we need in order to have a clear vision of what is most valuable in our lives. The person who cannot see beyond money, status, power, or fame is truly in darkness. Life is not about getting these things. Life is about who we are; it is about love and relationships.

Let us pray today for vision and light and to be able to discern what are the real treasures, the most precious things of human living. Our Christian life is above all a vision of life.

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