Treasures in Heaven

Friends in the Lord,
In the Gospel today, Jesus urges us not to amass treasures on this earth, but rather in heaven. He gives three examples of how earthly treasures easily vanish:
Things made of metal rust apart. I once owned a Pontiac Sunbird – the thing rusted apart so fast you could almost see it disintegrate. Material things decay.
Jesus also speaks of the problem of moths. Some may have an experience of pulling a favorite coat out of the closet, only to find some huge moth-eaten hole in it.
And Christ reminds us of how our treasures can suddenly disappear when a thief takes them.
In commenting on this, Thomas Aquinas explains these things symbolically. (Cataena) Rust, he says, represents pride. Just as rust covers over beautiful metal, pride obscures the brightness of a virtuous life.
Moth-eaten clothes are symbolic of jealousy. As the moth eats away at precious garments, jealousy eats away at friendships, and destroys the reputation of our neighbor.
The thieves who rob us, represent the devils who want to rob us of heaven and take away the happiness of a Christian life on earth. In times of war, a person sends their valuable things to relatives to keep them safe, knowing that when the attackers come, they might loot the people of their valuables. So too in the spiritual life. We are at war in this world, with the demons and enemies of the Church; We must therefore send ahead to heaven those things which are of value: Good deeds, honesty, sincerity, purity, almsgiving, and prayers; these things form us as a person, and will be our glory in heaven. The evil pleasures of this life will fall away and not survive the trip.
St. Paul says, be careful how you build your life in this world. If you build your life on gold and silver, which are the virtues, these will survive. But if you build it of wood and straw, these will be burned up in fire.
Some people accumulate many things in this life, material things to which they cling – but at death they lose all interest in this, they only wish they had done some good in their life.
Jesus says, where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. If we make Jesus and good works our treasure in this world, we will be very happy in the world to come.

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