As a child, my parents taught me to acquire things by earning them. If I wanted a toy or money, I must do something good like doing a house chore or excel in class. It is based on a reward system. When I already got what I wanted, I would feel ecstatic. My parents have taught me to appreciate things and treasure them because they are hard-earned. This was my way of life—work hard and receive your reward.
But growing up, working hard meant selfish ends. I persevered and worked hard to chase my goals and waited for rewards which I never realized were temporary. I was so focused that I seemed not to care about other things. It did not matter if I was already hurting or neglecting other people. Achieving something was meant for my own satisfaction.
A common goal that man could probably think of is to be rich or wealthy. The wealth that the world presents to us is the wealth of material things. I was so fascinated by the treasures of the earth—gadgets, cars, beautiful houses, social status, and titles among others. Being rich and powerful means fame and pride. In a way, I can say that I already had a grasp of these things, but as I reflect on this further, I began to ask myself “Does my heart belong here?” “Am I happy with my achievements?” I realized that sooner or later, all these things which I strove to gain would be gone. What would be left are the pains and hurts that I had inflicted on others while earning these treasures.
Today’s gospel reminds me of the genuine treasure that I must seek. It invites me to reflect if these things that I call “treasures” will last and will give joy and true happiness to me. Jesus’ invitation for me is to live a virtuous life.
By: Sem. Paulo O. Magistrado
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.
“The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”