Today Richard McMahon from the Pastoral Renewal team reads from the Gospel of Matthew (6: 19-23) in which Jesus tells his followers not to store up treasures on earth, but to ‘store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”.
Richard says there is an absolutely beautiful expression in today’s gospel, which has come into everyday life… ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’. It almost sounds like a line from a song and, yet it has a powerful resonance for us because it speaks to our priorities.
Richard says he can’t help but think of pirates and treasure maps when he thinks about treasure. The idea that they get themselves a vessel, a crew and set off to some uncharted island where they get out one of those maps where ‘X ‘marks the spot and off they go until they dig, and they find their treasure. And sometimes, at least in the movies and the books, there’s a whole lot of challenges and struggles they must face.
How much we are called to be a kind of pirate through today’s Gospel?
Richard, in thinking of the many things we do with our lives asks which ones are absolutely necessary…. Which ones am I prioritising? How can I tell? We can always say, ‘I am definitely making time for prayer; I am definitely going to do the things that God wants me to do with my life’.
Richard asks, ‘Is there a way of checking that? A way of ensuring I am on track? He says, one of the ways we can measure it is with the pirates – they invested a lot of time, energy and money into where they saw their treasure. It wasn’t something they wished about idly, they put their whole heart into this adventure.
In closing, Richard invites us to consider where are we putting our time, our energies at the moment in our everyday thinking, in our feelings and what we do with our activity? If we believe in our heart that God has put there a particular purpose; if there is something which we believe we are called to; now is the time! It is time to put our heart where our treasure is, to prioritise God and to prioritise God’s great adventure for us.