DAILY GOSPEL COMMENTARY: “DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH”
Gospel of Friday, 11th week of Ordinary Time
“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.”
GOSPEL COMMENTARY FROM THE NAVARRE BIBLE, ST. MATTHEW (WITH PERMISSION)
- Trust in God’s fatherly providence
- 19-21 The idea here is very clear: man’s heart yearns for a treasure which will give him security and happiness. However, every treasure in the form of earthly goods, wealth, property, becomes a constant source of worry, because there is always the risk we will lose it or because the effort to protect it is such a strain.
- Against this, Jesus teaches us here that our true treasure lies in good works and an upright life, which will be eternally rewarded by God in heaven. That indeed is a treasure which one never loses, a treasure on which Christ’s disciple should put his heart.
- Jesus closes the teaching contained in the preceding verses with a kind of refrain (v. 21). He is not saying that people should be unconcerned about earthly things; what he does say is that no created thing can be “the treasure”, the ultimate aim, of man. What man should do is make his way to God, sanctify himself and give all glory to God, by making right use of the noble things of the earth: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”(l Cor 10:31; cf. Col 3:17).
- 22-23 Here is another jewel of Jesus’ wisdom teaching. It begins with a sentence which is then immediately explained. The Master uses the simile of the eye as a lamp which provides the body with light. Christian exegesis has seen this “eye”, this “lamp”, as meaning the motivation behind our behaviour.
- St Thomas explains it in this way: “The eye refers to motive. When a person wants to do something, he first forms an intention: thus, if your intention is sound simple and clear that is to say, if it is directed towards God, your whole body, that is, all your actions, will be sound, sincerely directed towards good” (St Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on St Matthew, 6, 22-23).
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL
TOPIC: WHAT KINDS OF TREASURE ARE YOU STORING UP?
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus says, “where your treasure is, there will your heart also be.” One of Paul’s treasures was the communities he established in his four missionary journeys. His most important treasure was the Lord Himself, to whom he sacrificed everything, including his own life. What is your treasure?
TOPIC 2: Is your heart humble enough for God to reveal Himself to you and provide You with His directions?
A great and foolish King complained that the rough ground hurt his feet, so he ordered the whole country to be carpeted with cowhide. The court jester laughed when the King told him of his order. “What an absolute crazy idea, Your Majesty,” he cried. “Why all the needless expense? Just cut out two small pads to protect your feet!” That is what the King did. And that is how the idea of shoes was born. If we desire for a world free of pain, we must take great pains to change our heart and not the world.
In today’s gospel, Jesus praises the Father for revealing things to the little ones and not to the wise. “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” (Matthew 11:25).
Why, you may ask? It is because the wise may be too full of themselves that they don’t leave space for God to insert Himself in.
Oftentimes, we are the creation of our own imagination. When we succeed at something, our heads swell with pride, not realizing that if not for others, and certainly without God’s blessings, we will be nothing. Our pride at being “self-made” is really the fruit of many people who came into our life, again allowed by God, who sacrificed and suffered so that we may be who we are today.
Humility allows us to recognize that our success is like a cup of halu-halo – whose delectable sweetness and yumminess is due to the layering of sweetened beans, fruits, shaved ice drizzled with evaporated milk, and ice cream; in other words, not solely due to one ingredient.
We need the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is pierced by thorns and a cross hanging over it, to remind us to rid ourselves of the selfishness, insecurities, bloated fears, diminishing faith and swelling pride that may envelope us when we feel we are on top of the world and/or crushed under the weight of the world. He suffered. He offered. We must also acknowledge that we too will and must suffer. Or we have nothing to offer. If our hearts are made to listen to God, it must empty itself first of the pride that seeks to crowd out God’s love. We cannot do it alone. We need the grace of God.
Thus, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). You want to know what is the secret weapon of St. Padre Pio’s miracles? It starts with the prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
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