Thursday, June 16, 2016

Homily for 17 June 2016

17 June 2016

“Store up treasures in heaven,” Jesus says, rather than “treasures on earth.”  And with that Jesus isn’t saying the world is bad.  Instead, he’s saying, “Enjoy the life on earth you’ve been given, but remember to keep an eye toward what lasts eternally.”  And some of the eternal is here on earth; and they’re rather everyday things.

One “treasure of heaven” is our memory, those emotions and thoughts of another time in our life.  We can revisit them because they exist somewhere between heaven and earth.  Even though we might forget or even lose our memories, the memories are, nonetheless, there.  They’re part of the tapestry of life; a tapestry whose vivid memory we’ll enjoy in heaven with clear sight.  Memories are a “treasure of heaven.”

And all this week in Scripture, God has offered us various other “treasures of heaven.”  On Tuesday, we saw that what God asks of us is pretty simple.  But, sometimes, that gets all muddied up when we start putting other’s so-called “commandments” ahead of God’s.  Jesus breaks into that and he says: “You have heard from others that it was said . . . , but I say to you: Love one another.  Follow me.  Learn from me.”  There’s a “treasure of heaven” we can store up: Being a student of Christ and a lover of God.

On Wednesday, we saw that it feels good to be praised by others; that it’s encouraging.  But that sort of earthly praise comes and goes.  But the kind of praise that doesn’t fade is when God himself tickles our heart and whispers to us: “Well done, my good and faithful friend,” whenever we do something good.  It’s a very great “treasure of heaven” to let God’s love be enough for us.

And yesterday we heard that God doesn’t need us to say lots of words in our prayer; words are spoken and they die off.  Instead, the Lord desires us simply to rest in him.  Like a little child who falls asleep on a parent’s shoulder, or while being held against the chest.  It’s another of those “treasures of heaven:” simply being with Our Father . . . in stillness and in peace.

The “treasures of heaven” are all around us.  We just need to see them for what they are, and enjoy them.  If we can do that, we’ll be well on our way to storing up a wealth of treasure in heaven.

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