Jesus’ statement on detachment from worldly goods can ring very true to us today. Especially in these last two months, we have had a number of reminders of how temporary the treasures we store up for ourselves here on earth can be. In Houston and the surrounding areas, Hurricane Harvey left substantial flooding and many people without the treasures they stored up over the course of a lifetime. Likewise with the wildfires around Los Angeles in September and north of San Francisco last week. As the saying goes, you can’t take it with you. The things we have in this life will not be of much use in the next one.
Yet there are more ways to be tempted than just through material things. St. Ignatius notes that after things, the Devil will tempt us through worldly honors, and then pride. If we think to ourselves “I can have everything or nothing, as long as others think well of me,” that is still a treasure we hold onto here that we can’t take with us. If we think to ourselves “all that matters is that I myself think I am doing what is right, and that I believe in myself,” even that will not do us much good in the life to come. As G.K. Chesterton observed, “the men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.” There are many things that we need to detach ourselves from here on earth, and many things that we can’t take with us. Our main concern should be what God is asking of us, and what God thinks about us and our actions.