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Message from Pastor Ben O'Cinnsealaigh

8/7/2022 Find your true treasure and treasure it

Although I don’t play video games, there was a time, in my twenties, pre-home video game times, when I couldn’t pass a video arcade without going in and spending an hour or two on video machines. In fact, when I would return from Rome, my best friend would meet me in the city, and he would give me a bag with about $20.00 in coins so I could indulge my video game habit. Every time I would return, he would meet me with a bag of coins, and we would drop into a “gaming den.” He hated video games, but he would wait patiently, reading a magazine, while I wasted my time and his money. Now that memory is a fond recollection to me, but that friendship, that friend, is a treasure.

Isn’t it funny how what we treasure seems to change as we move through life? When we are young, we treasure doing things. For the young, tomorrow will never arrive fast enough and life is lived at a great pace. When we are old, we treasure time, we hope to see another day, we long for more time to spend with the people we love.

Many people treasure things, possessions, or experiences, while others treasure time, space, and beauty, while still others treasure people, children, and family. For some people, treasure is about themselves, their needs and wants, making themselves comfortable, sufficient, self-determined and self-sufficient. For others, treasure is about what they give away, how they help, who they help. Treasure is about others and how they share in their lives and provide for their needs.

I guess, over a lifetime, people define treasure in many ways, and at different times, treasure means different things or many things at the same time. Personally, I am grateful for the treasure that people share with me as a priest, the treasure that makes life both possible and beautiful. Every day, people offer their treasure for the good of others and the building up of God’s Kingdom. Over the years, people have given their financial treasure to help people poorer than themselves, to build our schools, to erect our churches and make them beautiful and functional, to assist the mission. Every day, I see parents brave enough to bring new life into the world – a true treasure in the giving of life and in the child. Others give their time to fight for the rights of the most vulnerable, to speak for the voiceless or the downtrodden, the neglected, and the abandoned. Every day, I see teachers and coaches, parents, and grandparents passing on lessons in virtue, courage, character, leadership, compassion, and bravery. There are people at our parishes everyday sharing their time and their talents. Every day, I see men and women, young and old, support each other in the struggles and hardships, the loves, and the joys of life. So much treasure.

As a priest, I have had the privilege of celebrating many funerals and I can tell you that all caskets are about the same size. There is no room for the treasures of this world. All we take with us is what we carry in our hearts. What we have in our hearts is the treasure we will present to God. The things of this world already belong to God, and He has no interest, nor need, to receive them from us, they already belong to Him. But what we have in our hearts- this is a treasure we can give to God that is a unique gift and a treasure God will cherish, a treasure God will love to receive, a treasure God will treasure. For myself, I wonder what that treasure will be when I come face to face with God.

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