We read in the Gospel, “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and decay destroy, thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth or decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.'”
Raniero Cantalamessa in his book, ‘Beatitudes eight steps to happiness’ writes, ” What gives religious value to poverty is the motivation for which it chosen, and in the case of Christ the motivation is love: ‘He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.’ (2 Cor 8:9) A gift is precious particularly when it is the result of self-denial, when one deprives oneself of what is given. And the Word, in a particular way, deprived himself of his divine riches to be able to become one of us. The poverty of God is an expression of his agape, of his being ‘love.’ The Cynic philosophers of Jesus’ time lived in material poverty and in certain respects more radical than his, but they were not inspired by love for human being: rather they took on poverty as a challenge to demonstrate the independence and superiority of human being over nature and over things.”
One saint said, “You can only keep in Heaven what you freely give away here on earth.” At funerals the priest often says, “All you can take to Heaven is the love that you have given and received from others.” Jesus says, “A man might be rich in this world’s goods but in poor in the sight of Heaven.” May we be rich in the sight of Heaven.
Where is your treasure? Is your treasure Jesus or money? Scripture makes it clear the single greatest stumbling block to union with God is love of money.
Jesus has turned the values of the world upside down. Mary in her role as prophet proclaims, ” He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.”