Advent Day 30 of 50: Treasures
By this point in the Advent Journey it is quite clear that what Jesus taught was not rabbinic law, nor did it resemble the Old Testament as it was taught in his time. If the difference between “what you heard” and “this is what I tell you” is not clear yet, fear not, the remainder of the Sermon on the Mount will round off the essential teachings of Jesus in a manner that logical and as a matter of fact. Today’s passage makes this very clear and is a natural follow up to what we have learned.
Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
No longer are his words argumentative, rather Jesus lays out a truth in an axiomatic manner: If your treasure is here on earth, then so is your heart. If your treasure is secured in heaven, then your heart is there as well. He forces you to think of what is important in your life. What are the treasures that you accumulate? Material wealth we all understand, but what are the treasures of heaven? Try: Compassion and empathy for the pain and suffering of others. Meekness. Purity of Heart. Seeking peace and justice. And if you need any more, remember the outline from the beginning of our journey, they are called the Beatitudes.
The benefits of treasures in heaven are self-evident.. It follows that your works reflect your heart’s grounding.
St. Nersess Shnorhali offers this prayer today, from the 16th hour of his confession of faith, “My God, who opens Your hand and fills all things living with Your bounty, to You I commit my soul, do care for me and provide for the needs of my body and soul forever. Amen.
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