Friday, June 18, 2010

Treasure in Heaven

A little over a year ago one of the dormitory rooms at our seminary caught fire. We were all in class and as the alarm went off we casually walked outside to find – much to our surprise – flames were shooting out of a window right above our classrooms. As we all stood and watched the fire blaze and the firefighters fight it, I couldn’t help but think “What if that were my room?” You see, my little 10 X 16 foot room holds almost everything I own and I sat there wondering if it had all been burned up, how would I respond? Would I be crushed? Would I be upset and move on?

In the continuation of the Sermon on the Mount we hear Jesus telling us to store up treasure in heaven and not here on Earth, where moth and thief can take it from us. As I reflect on that incident with the fire and how I view my room, I probably value my book collection more than I should and I’d say that my music collection is definitely an earthly treasure for me. For some of you, your earthly treasure may be your antiques, or clothes, or keepsakes that you’ve collected on the road of life. The hard part is that all of these things are goods – they are things that bring us pleasure and happiness and improve the quality of our lives. At the same time, though, we recognize that while these things bring us happiness and pleasure, they are only shadows of the true happiness that we will experience in Heaven.

You see, God has built into our human nature a hole that only He can fill. So often we try to accumulate our earthly treasures and shove them in the hole but quickly find that they were lacking and that we still long for something more. What one would hopefully realize is that no matter the earthly treasure, it will be found lacking. What is not found lacking, but what fills us to the full is the reality of what those earthly treasures foreshadow – the joy of Heaven. And here we see that the greatest treasure that any of us can ever hope to attain is nothing else than spending eternity with God. And that begins today in this Mass, as we open ourselves to be filled by His presence.