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Pastor Ben's message 7/30/2023

Years ago, a friend of mine in Boston went for an interview at a major university. She was being interviewed for a position as an associate professor. During the interview one of the professors on the panel asked her what she considered to be her greatest achievement. Without hesitation she picked up her bag and pulled from it a photo and handed it to the board member. The photo was of her seven children. “These,” she said, “are my greatest achievement.” The board didn’t appreciate that answer, for them, some critically acclaimed article or book, would have been a treasure. Something that would sit on a shelf and collect dust, read by a few elitists, who must “publish or perish.” My friend treasured her children more than anything and, like most parents, she lived for them. They were a treasure worth having and her life was a life worth living.

My brother-in-law told me recently that his doctor recommended that he get specially made orthopedic shoes because his feet were in such bad shape. I asked if they were expensive, and he told me that they would cost around seven hundred dollars. I know for a fact that my brother-in-law never bought those shoes, the reason being, his daughter needed something, and for him her needs came first. Parents will be familiar with this scenario. You see, their treasure, is not counted in things, objects, the good of this world, rather, their treasure is found in the life and happiness of their children. In fact, parents spend their treasure, finances, time, energy, their sweat, blood, tears, in fact, their very lives, living and providing for others. They spend their treasure on what they consider their real treasure. I know what I’m talking about, for I have seen it in my own life, with my parents, in the lives of my brothers and sisters who are now parents, and in the lives of the people here in our family of parishes. Parents are people who truly live, sacrifice, and give everything for those they treasure most.

The Gospel for today is an opportunity for us to ask ourselves: What is my treasure? What do I live for? What is most important to me? Interestingly, the Lord says the treasure that is most precious and the treasure we should be willing to sacrifice everything to have is the Kingdom. In fact, Jesus says it is worth while selling everything we have, to possess the Kingdom of God. In other words, all the treasures of this world count as nothing in comparison to the treasure that is the Kingdom of God. Jesus says we should sacrifice everything to possess that treasure. What is the point in settling for the things of this world when they decay, fade, disappear, and turn to dust. The treasures of this world are garbage compared to the treasure of heaven. So, let us ask ourselves, what treasure really takes possession of our heart?


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