Treasure is what we have. They involve material and spiritual deposits that we hustle to store up for ourselves.
The Greek word for treasure in this gospel pericope is θησαυροὺς (thēsaurous). This means a storehouse for precious things, a store and hence a treasure. It comes from the word tithemi that is a place one deposits things.
Hence this refers to the things we do, things we acquire and the things we store up for ourselves.
One specific truth about storage is that it is stored for specific and future use. So, the question we ask ourselves today is “what is the essence of the things that we acquire? Of what relevance are they to us?
Why do we acquire them? Can what we acquire give us a life that is eternal or are they ephemeral? Where Do We Store Our Treasure? What is in our heart when we do what we do? What is truly the motivation behind whatever we do as children of God? So the question we have to answer today is “Where Do We Store Our Treasure?
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells His disciples “ ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
In this statement, Jesus makes a little distinction on the type of treasure that we acquire.
By saying do not store up treasure on earth but store up in heaven means that what we acquire can have twofold implications. They can either be to enjoy life on earth or attain eternal life in heaven.
Therefore, what we do or what we acquire can either be for our own personal glory or for the glory of God. And each one we choose has its resultant effect.
Remember that these statements were all fruits of the sermon on the mount. Hence, on the mount, Jesus was surrounded by the crowd who came to Him from different walks of life. They came seeking Him.
Therefore, the first implication of this statement focuses on the reasons we are seeking God.
Here, Jesus is asking His hearers to make sure that the reason for coming to Him is to seek salvation and eternal life.
Around Jesus today are different kinds of people with different kinds of needs. So, what Jesus means today is that though what they are seeking is for their welfare, their main motivation should be for the salvation of their souls and eternal life at last. This type of treasure is beyond decay.
Secondly, surrounded by Jesus are the Sadducees, Pharisees, scribes, and some religious men who serve God in different aspects of life.
Here, Jesus is warning them to make sure that their aim of serving God is not only to look very religious on the outside but their hearts are on the money and what they will acquire.
This is why He says, For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. Therefore if the reason behind the service we render to God is the material gain, the money and the earthly fruits we can get from that, there will be our heart. But if truly our hearts are to save our souls and that of others, then there will our heart be.
Therefore Jesus is asking us to refocus our attention, repent and change our minds towards Him. The reason behind our worship and service to God should first of all be for the salvation of souls.
When you have this at the back of your mind, you will never get tired of serving and worshiping God. But when an inordinate desire is a reason for your coming to God and your reason for serving God, you may get tired easily especially when you have tried and there is no fruitful gain yet.
Therefore, whoever serves, works and comes to God only for material solutions should know that everything in the world must one day expire.
In Mark 8:36, Jesus asks “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose His soul? Hence the question we have to ask ourselves is “where do we store our treasure? Is it for the salvation of our souls or to achieve a selfish desire?
What is the Motive behind What You Do?
When Jesus says where your treasure is, there will be your heart, which in essence means that there is always a motive behind everything that we do.
Today, we serve God in different capacities. Many people also have even built their own churches, some have established different foundations to help the suffering, while many have undertaken many apostolates, missions and positions etc.
In these, there is certainly the reason behind what you do. Do we do them for ourselves? Are they for political reasons? Do we do them for self-appraisal and self-enrichment?
Do we do them to achieve cheap popularity, power, and financial gain? What is the reason behind your being the first in the church? Is it for people to see you as the most powerful? Where is our focus?
What is the reason behind that help you are rendering to someone now? Are you doing it to truly help or for any selfish reason? When we define our motives, then we can define where we are storing our treasure.
When we store our treasure only for the self, we store them for damnation and decay. But when we store our treasures for the sake of heaven we store them for eternity.
This involves doing righteous deeds for the sake of the salvation of our souls and not that people praise us as Holy Man or Woman. It involves serving, working and suffering for Christ’s sake and not for our sordid enterprise.
This also involves forgiving and loving one another and many other deeds of kindness which we do out of a free heart and for the love of God.
When we do these, we store up treasure in heaven (Matt 10:42; 25:40). So, the question today is “where do we store our treasure?
May God help us to store our treasures in the right place and not for sordid gain. May He never forsake all your sincere efforts. Amen.
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