JUNE 18. Ord Time B. Wk.11. Fri. Mt. 6. 19-23
Updated: Sep 10
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkness, what darkness that will be!’
This Gospel reading places the focus on what should be the priorities of the heart for a Christian and so it raises very important issues.
Christians are not immune from “the values of the world” although at times we can fantasise that these have no impact on us, a good example being a common desire, even among priests, to be “successful” in life.
Where does that desire fit in the context of Christ’s life and example, as he had no desire to be seen as successful and, in the eyes of the world, he was seen as a complete failure?
And, as if to emphasise the point, Christ makes a statement that highlights the issue when he says; - “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also!”
Christ made it clear where our treasure should be; - and what our heart should desire; - and that is; - “To do the Will of the Father”; - whatever that might entail.
And that teaching, specifically rules out a Christian desiring “to be successful”, as success for the Christian is to be found in humble submission to the Will of the Father; - in imitation of Jesus Christ.
The second part of today’s reading then moves on to deal with the issue of our desires, and how we should seek, in lieu of “success”; - the Will of God, when it says “the lamp of the body is the eye”; - with the eye referring to our desires and what we see as our priorities in life.
Our desires truly represent our priorities which means we have to be constantly monitoring and reviewing them because of the very real danger they will be infiltrated by “the values of the world”; - rather than pursuing “the values of the Gospel”.
Christ articulated the issue well when he says; “if your desires are sound, your life will be filled with light; - but if your desires are diseased, then your whole life will be in darkness!”
This is a stark warning to Christians that, rather than seeking “success” or the fulfillment of their own desires, they should be desiring and seeking the Will of God; - whatever that be; - and this clearly rules out our desiring or seeking “success in life!”
It would be hard to summarise Christ’s view of life better than how he put it himself; - “Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal!”
Gospel Acclamation Mt5:3
Happy the poor in spirit:
the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
First reading 2 Corinthians 11:18,21-30
If I am to boast, let me boast of my own feebleness
So many others have been boasting of their worldly achievements, that I will boast myself. But if anyone wants some brazen speaking – I am still talking as a fool – then I can be as brazen as any of them, and about the same things. Hebrews, are they? So am I. Israelites? So am I. Descendants of Abraham? So am I. The servants of Christ? I must be mad to say this, but so am I, and more than they: more, because I have worked harder, I have been sent to prison more often, and whipped many times more, often almost to death. Five times I had the thirty-nine lashes from the Jews; three times I have been beaten with sticks; once I was stoned; three times I have been shipwrecked and once adrift in the open sea for a night and a day. Constantly travelling, I have been in danger from rivers and in danger from brigands, in danger from my own people and in danger from pagans; in danger in the towns, in danger in the open country, danger at sea and danger from so-called brothers. I have worked and laboured, often without sleep; I have been hungry and thirsty and often starving; I have been in the cold without clothes. And, to leave out much more, there is my daily preoccupation: my anxiety for all the churches. When any man has had scruples, I have had scruples with him; when any man is made to fall, I am tortured.
If I am to boast, then let me boast of my own feebleness.