In the gospel, Jesus often speaks to us about vigilance. We must be watchful and ready to greet the Lord when He comes again. As we keep watch we must be on guard to protect the treasure of our faith that the Lord has given to us. The Lord speaks to us about the “thief in the night” that can come and raid our home, stealing that which is most valuable to us, if we are not keeping a careful watch upon it. Our greatest treasure as believers is the gift of Divine Life that God has been pleased to share with us. As Jesus announces today, “for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” The Kingdom of God is not some place on this earth, it is not some “thing” that the Lord has laid aside for us, rather it is life itself, a share in the Divine Life of our Lord. Jesus Christ our Lord is God’s true gift to us and He is our greatest treasure. That treasure is entrusted to our hearts where the indwelling Spirit of Christ Jesus is hidden on the day of our baptism. It is our greatest treasure because it gives us life – an abundant life on this earth and an eternal life in heaven.
On the cross, when the side of Jesus is opened by the lance of the soldier, the Sacred Heart of our Lord is opened to us. Blood and water flow forth from the side of Christ and in that blood and water we have the graces of the sacramental life. In essence, from the open side of Jesus, in the sacramental life, Jesus gives us the gift of his Sacred Heart, the gift of his Divine Love. It is in this love and through this heart that we may attain eternal life. This blood and water through baptism and Eucharist becomes the gift of Jesus himself. Jesus does not give us some “thing” but he gives us the gift of himself, body and blood that begins the Divine Life within us. We keep this gift as a treasure in our hearts.
Jesus thus tells us today that we should, “Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will you heart be.” Our faith in Jesus is our greatest treasure. We store that treasure in the “house” of our hearts where Jesus dwells eternally. We should not allow the house of our hearts to be broken into by the secular forces of this world and allow the treasure of our faith to be stolen away by some worldly and secular promise of earthly pleasures. Karl Rahner cautions us that, “we can easily find ourselves drifting with the tide, accepting as self-evident a “culture” that has been basically diabolized by the forces of debasement, by sheer luxury, by wild, senseless, formless, and unhallowed sexuality, by the demons of covetousness and pride and self-imprisonment in things of earth – all this can easily happen. We can let ourselves think that because everybody does it, it must be right and proper. We cannot let ourselves think that because this debased culture is widespread it must be acceptable, because it is widespread it must be right and even becoming for us.” Without a spirit of discernment, a wise understanding of what is truly valuable and what is according to God’s will, we can easily allow the “thief” to steal away the treasure of faith from our hearts. We see many people today accepting things that are contrary to God’s will such as abortion, divorce, pornography, sexual license, homosexuality, drug abuse and other perversions of man’s dignity that rob us of the Divine Image and Likeness and imprison us in a slavery to sin just because “everyone is doing it” in our culture today. We must remain vigilant and keep guard over the treasure of our faith.
St. Paul reminds us today that, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” In Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict points out that, “Faith tells us that God has given his Son for our sakes and gives us the victorious certainty that it is really true: God is love! It thus transforms our impatience and our doubts into the sure hope that God holds the world in his hands and that, as the dramatic imagery of the end of the Book of Revelation points out, in spite of all darkness he ultimately triumphs in glory. Faith, which sees the love of God revealed in the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, gives rise to love.” Hold onto your faith and keep watch over the rich treasure of your hearts, the glorious treasure of our faith! May your hearts always be hidden with Christ in God.