My Beloved the benevolent
I would like to congratulate you on the beginning of the Great Lent, a special spiritual time during which we enjoy prayer, fasting, and spiritual growth through repentance and merciful acts. I would like to contemplate with you on Christ our Lord’s discussion regarding heavenly treasure. People are comfortable laying for themselves earthly treasures in order to feel secure; to secure for themselves and their families a good future and financial stability. Thus, Christ started his talk warning against laying up earthly treasures saying, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Matt.6:19
- What are the dangers in laying for ourselves earthly treasures?
- These treasures are temporary, and Christ expressed this by saying, “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Matt. 6:19. Earthly treasures – whether monetary, possessions or high-ranking positions – do not have lasting qualities. For example, many lose their fortune because of instability in the financial markets. Sometimes banks go bankrupt and people lose their life savings, or stocks plummet in a specific corporation that went bankrupt. Or someone invests money in one type of fund or stock that may generate money but are not stable. Natural disasters cause buildings to collapse and ruin acres of land which results in people losing their possessions. The story of Job is such an example of a rich man and how consecutive calamities led to him losing everything including his health.
- Earthly treasures make a person preoccupied with what is earthly, and how to grow his wealth; and sometimes it compromises his values in life. Therefore, Christ our Lord warned us saying, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other, you cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6:24. Butwhy can no one serve God and money? Christ answered this question by saying, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:21. For a man who lays for himself earthly treasures, thinks only of what is earthly, and his heart does not rise to heaven because it is in the earth. Christ offered us an example in the story of the rich man whose land became fertile. What did he think? “He thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So, he said, ‘I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ Lu. 12:17-19. This poor man thought of his land and the long life he has ahead of him. Which he thought was guaranteed to be a life of luxury because of the earthly treasure that he had accumulated. But he forgot one important thing: that his life is temporary and that he cannot take any of his wealth with him. Therefore, God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then who’s will those things be which you have provided?” Lu. 12:20. Christ our Lord offered this story of the rich man as an example to all those who treasure for themselves earthly treasures. Christ our Lord, after saying this story, said, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Lu. 12:21
- Christ our Lord warned us of earthly greed saying, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” For a person who cares about the earthly covets what is meant for another, thus leading to bickering and fighting even among brethren. Therefore, when a man came to Christ our Lord saying, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. But He said to him ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you? And said to them Take heed and beware of Covetousness” Lu. 12:13-15
- Caring for earthly treasure deprives a person from helping others, as we see in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man lived a life of luxury and did not look upon poor Lazarus who was laying at his door, filled with sores, therefore, the rich man died and went to hades and Abraham told him, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.” Lu.16:25
We shall continue our discussion on the earthly treasure and the heavenly one in our next letter. Wishing you all a blessed Great Lent, laying for ourselves heavenly treasures. May the Lord bless your offerings for supporting Santa Verena Charity programs which helps you lay up for yourselves heavenly treasures.