Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus gives us two important words to help guide our discernment in today’s Gospel.  The first one is about treasure.  We know that treasure is something of great value, and something that needs to be protected or hidden because it could be taken away.  Usually when we think about being poor, or even poor in spirit (as we are taught by the beatitudes) we think about how we are not supposed to accumulate wealth.  In many cases, that is the right spiritual attitude.  The more we latch on material or even spiritual things of this life and this world, the more we are chained to a horizontal and earthly existence.  The more stuff we have, the more money we have, the more anxiety we have because we have to protect it or use it or store it somewhere and watch over it.  The more people we are connected to, the more parties we have to attend, the more social obligations we have to fulfill, the more drama we have to endure, the less time and space we have for God.  The smarter we are, the more we think about life and responsibility, and the more we try to control things directly or indirectly, the less room we give to the Holy Spirit to act.  So, while on the one hand, Jesus wants us to be poor and detached, on the other hand he wants us to attach ourselves and accumulate treasure in heaven.  What is heavenly treasure?  It is God Himself and it is Charity.  Go on uniting yourself to God, the Holy Trinity, by your daily prayer and accumulate the experience of God’s love and of heaven: let that be your treasure.  Go on serving your brothers and sisters and loving your enemies, in that way divine Charity accumulates in your heart.  The Charity that you die with in this life is the only accumulation that will remain with you in heaven.

The second principle of discernment Jesus gives us in today’s Gospel is that of the eye.  We have an incredible degree of freedom when it comes to our eyes: both literally and metaphorically.  There is so much to see in life, so many things to look at, choices we can make about what we focus on.  Jesus acknowledges that fact, but instructs us to look at and focus on what brings light to our lives instead of darkness.  We understand that darkness is a reference to sin, but darkness also refers to whatever is an obstacle or whatever prevents light from being seen.  It is true that if you stare directly at the sun your eyes will eventually be damaged.  Physical light is so powerful that we have to be careful not to expose the sensitive organ of our eyes to its direct rays.  Spiritual light is different.  Spiritual light is truth.  The deeper the truth that you see – that you understand with the eye of your mind – the more filled with light you become.  The way forward in life becomes clearer to you and those around you.  Knowing lots of things that are true is one kind of light – but knowing the most important truths is the light of wisdom.  Wisdom is the light we most desperately need, and it is the light that completely brightens and fills the body.  Wisdom is the truth about what goodness is, who God is, and who we are.  May we seek Wisdom and may we store up Charity, so that we have our treasure in heaven, and our bodies filled with light.

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