“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Matt 6:19
In today’s Gospel, Jesus lays it on the line about material “treasures.” Material treasures mean nothing, especially if God is not a part of our lives. We have all heard the phrase, “You can’t take it with you.” When we enter eternal life (and we all will some day), we cannot take anything with us except for our souls.
Many people in our world today are spiritually indifferent, but materialistically wealthy. They have so much excess in their lives, but their souls are spiritually deprived. Jesus warns of this in the Gospel reading. Whether we are rich, poor, or somewhere in the middle, all of us will die. It is up to each of us to build up the treasures in heaven by making our souls spiritually rich and healthy and prepared for eternal life.
Some of us may find that it can be difficult letting go of certain material possessions, especially if they have sentimental memories attached to them. It’s fine to keep photos and sentimental mementos. However, over-consumption and materialism are not healthy attitudes or practices if one is preparing for an eternal home in heaven.
This is why fasting can be so beneficial. Whenever we deprive ourselves of the foods and drinks we love, whenever we can fast on bread and water, it helps us to distinguish between a want and a need. Fasting also helps us to remember the poor and many people who have no choice but to go hungry every night. Fasting helps us to increase in virtue and become spiritually rich. Fasting helps us to be connected to all those we are praying for. Fasting helps us to store up treasures in heaven, for our eternal destiny.
Today let us pray and fast for all those who are lonely, spiritually deprived and feeling disconnected from others. Let us pray and fast for all the community intentions.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray.
“The biggest problem facing the world today is not people dying in the streets of Calcutta, and not inflation, but spiritual deprivation…this feeling of emptiness associated with feeling separate from God, and from all our sisters and brothers on planet Earth.” Blessed Mother Teresa