Friday, December 21, 2007

Do you feel this?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and

decay destroys, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures

in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break

in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart

be (Matt 6:19).

Being poor in spirit is not the same as being impoverished; it means being detached from material things. Attachment to material things is dangerous because they don’t count for anything in the next life. Jesus warns against being overly concerned with worldly success: "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" (Matt 16:26). A new car, for example, is a good thing in itself, but not if it becomes more important than our relationship with God or others. I know people who lovingly wash their cars on Sunday but do not attend Mass. We have to love people and use cars, not love cars and use people. As Jesus points out, some fall away because "they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life" (Luke 8:14), thereby forgetting God and the reason they’re here. The true meaning of earthly life is to prepare for the next life, not to get taken up by who has the most toys. I have never seen a hearse with a U-Haul truck behind it. Eternity is the proper vantage point from which to judge the value of all things.

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