Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

What does it mean to store up treasure in heaven? Clearly, there must be some connection between my life in heaven and my life on earth, or else storing up treasure in heaven would not require any change to my life on on earth.

The second part of this Gospel passage, which initially seems unconnected to the first, can help us get some some sense of what it means to store up treasure in heaven. “The lamp of the body is the eye.” Exegetes point out that scientists in Jesus’ time thought that people’s eyes shone a “light” out into the world and that people saw on the basis of this light. Jesus, it would seem, is adopting “bad science” as his own, as some people accuse Christians of doing today. And yet, it seems that there is a profound truth in Jesus’ observation that the way that one sees affects the way that we stand in the world, whether in light or in darkness.

Ignatius of Loyola observes that God creates man and gives him the greatest calling possible: the be in relationship with God (who is love) by praising, reverencing, and serving God as Lord. Ignatius sees all created things on the face of the earth as gifts that God gives to man to help man to live that calling, which is inscribed in man’s very being. If we see the world in this way, all our world will be light. All the world is given: do we hoard created things in an attempt to create our own little life, apart from God, or do we receive created things in order to love God through them, making use of them insofar as they are useful to love? If we do the latter, then we give the gift of God’s love away as soon as we receive it, for we are loved so that we, in turn, might love. It is in this “giving away” of all things in love that we “give” love and so store up treasure in heaven.

June 19th, 2015