19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”  These words of Our Lord should make us all examine our hearts.  We ought to ask ourselves: “Where is my treasure?”  One way to know where your treasure is, is to ask yourself what do you spend the most time thinking about.  What is it that you most want, and why do you want it?  Oftentimes, when we think about what we most want, we think of some material thing.  Some people might think of a relationship that they wish that they had, or a relationship that they have that they wish were better than it is.  Some people may think that the thing that they most want is a better job, or financial security.

There is nothing wrong with wanting good things for ourselves, that is perfectly natural, but we have to make sure that our desires are in proper order.  We have to keep in mind that all the things in this world will do us no good, unless God is the center of our lives.  What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  (cf. Mark 8:36)  The things of this world can make our lives very pleasant; yet the Christian does not live for this world alone.  We are to keep in mind that we are only passing guests in this world: our homeland is in Heaven.  Nothing in this world will ever fulfill us.  Our very being is incomplete if God is not at the center of our hearts.  Nothing in this world will ever satisfy us, because our hearts were made for God.  There isn’t any amount of money that we could acquire where we wouldn’t want more.  It isn’t possible for us to own “enough” stuff: we will always want more.  Our heart’s deepest longing is for God; nothing else can substitute for Him. The things of this world can distract us for a while, but they can never fill our hearts.  Our hearts are restless, until they rest in God.

Our Lord tells us in today’s Gospel that our treasure is in Heaven.  Our whole life in this world is really a preparation for the next life.  This life is passing away.  The life of the world to come will never end.  We do not know how long we will be on this earth.  It is easy to think that death is a long way off.  It is easy to imagine that we will start preparing for the next life when we get closer to it: many, many years from now.  In reality, however, none of us knows how long our life will be; the only thing that we can be certain of, is that one day we will all experience death.  We need to be prepared to meet our Maker on the day that we will be called from this world.

When we stand before our God, we will not think about all the things that we wish that we had in this life.  We will not be judged according to how much money we made or how many things that we had.  We will be judged on one thing: how much did you love?  Did you love God with all your mind and all your soul and all your strength?  Did you love your neighbor as yourself?  When we go before our Lord and Savior we will not regret that we didn’t get the fastest car, the newest computer, or the biggest house.  The only thing that will matter on that day will be how much we loved God and how much we loved others.

We ought to examine our hearts and think about how we treat others.  Do we show our loved ones that we love them?  Do we respect them?  If you thought that you were going to die, would you treat your loved ones differently than you do now?  How do we treat strangers?  Are we quick to help others, or are we coldly indifferent?  Christians are supposed to be able to be recognized by their love.  Could an outside observer that does not know us recognize that we are different just by the way that we live our lives?

We also need to examine our love for God.  Do we really love God the way that we are called to love Him?  Do we put Him first in our lives?  Do we think of Him often throughout the day?  We cannot say that we love God with all of our minds if we never think of Him.  We cannot claim to love God with all of our hearts if we do not speak to Him often in prayer.  We cannot maintain that we love God with all of our strength if we turn our backs on Him in sin.

The Good News is that we have a loving and a merciful God.  There isn’t any sin that we can commit that God would not forgive us of, if only we ask for His mercy.  As long as we are in this world it is not too late to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.  Let each one of us here renew our commitment to follow our Lord more faithfully, and to love our God and others more fully.  Lord Jesus Christ, give us the grace to set our hearts on the real treasure, the treasure that is in Heaven.  Help us, Lord, to root sin out of our lives and to truly love as You call us to love.  Amen.