The Soundest Investment

Matthew 6: 19-23
2 Kgs 11:1-4,9-18,20 / Ps 132

 

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 
(Matthew 6: 21)

 
We are blind to the real treasure
If the wealth of this world is our goal;
We will find the cost beyond measure
If it should mean the loss of our soul.
 
 
Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6: 19-23)

Reflection

 
In today’s Gospel, our Lord Jesus gives us two timely pieces of advice that are so relevant in today’s materialistic generation.  The first concerns our primary pursuit in life: are we aspiring to pile up wealth in this life, or do we plan to invest it in heaven? The second concerns the state of our spiritual health, the ‘eye of our soul’ – our conscience. Both of these concerns will determine our life’s ultimate goal. What is most valuable in our life?
 
Jesus is stating the obvious in His first advice. Why hoard riches or material possessions in this life which can last no longer than rust or termites can destroy them, or thieves and robbers can take away? Unfortunately, most people who are wealthy or successful in this world become short-sighted, or their fortunes blur their vision. They become so self-assured and independent that they wander away from God’s light, and spend their time enjoying the flickering lights of the night’s vices. Darkness envelops their whole being, and the lamp of their faith grows dim.
 
A sudden change of fortune can be a curse in disguise if our eyes are blinded by its glitter. This happened to a childhood friend who once had a profitable profession. His family went to mass regularly; he and his wife were respectable members of the community. When my friend’s mother died, leaving him, the only child, a small fortune, the couple decided to relocate the family to Manila, where his wife’s relatives lived. Not long after, their marriage turned for the worse, because they learned how to gamble at the casino, and his wife took up ballroom dancing. The last bit of news we heard was that he and his wife eventually went their separate ways, and his profession abandoned.
 
We need to keep our vision clear on where we want to spend the rest of eternity after our brief sojourn here on earth.  In the earlier sections of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus showed us how we can keep this lamp of our body sound: by disciplining our passions, such as greed and lust; making peace with our enemies; being charitable to the poor; and above all, keeping regular communication with God through prayer. With the Father’s guidance, we can be more prudent in the stewardship of our financial resources, enjoying a stable life here on earth, and at the same time investing wisely on the real treasure, which is heaven.
 
We praise and thank You, Father in heaven, for the wisdom of managing well the resources  You have entrusted to us, making us see that when others are also benefited by them, then we have invested wisely, laying up treasures for ourselves in Your kingdom.  Amen.

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