The Gospel according to Matthew (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.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: Today’s Gospel is a continuation of Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. In this Gospel, Jesus uses to images of treasure and eyesight to covey the hidden truth of God’s kingdom. Jesus contrasts two different kinds of wealth, material and spiritual. While we are on earth, we are all trying to find the treasure or material wealth which brings security and happiness. But this is the kind of treasure that will not last. When we were born into this world, we were born with nothing. When we die, we cannot take our earthly treasure with us. Jesus urges his disciples to get rich by investing in that which truly lasts, not just for a life-time, but for all eternity. What is this treasure which Jesus offers so freely? It is the joy of knowing the living God, being in a relationship with him, and receiving the inheritance of an imperishable kingdom, a kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness. Since one’s whole life is directed by that which he most values, to set one’s heart on heavenly treasure will be to enter into a deeper and richer life with God.
Jesus also used the image of eyesight to convey an important spiritual principle. It has been said that the eye is the window of the soul and “inner being” of a person. If the window is clouded, dirty, or marred in any manner, the light will be deflected and diminished. Just so with the “inner being” of a person! How we “see” affects the “inner life”, “heart”, and “soul” of an individual. What can blind or distort our “vision” of what is true, good, lovely, pure and everlasting? Certainly prejudice, jealousy, and self-conceit cause distortion or blindness. All of these “sins” destroy good judgment and blind us to doing God’s will. We need to fearlessly examine ourselves to see if we are living according to right principles of God’s truth.
Action for the day: Reflect on our earthly treasure and our spiritual eyesight. Are we using our treasure to help build up the kingdom of God here and now? Do I see others as children of God, created in the image and likeness of God? Or do I distort my vision with sins of prejudice and jealousy? Pray for the grace to fill us with your light and truth, to help us understand your ways. Free us from all that is false, illusory, ugly, and unloving. Let our hearts know only one treasure–the joy and bliss of union with you.