A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 6:19-23
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
20 But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”
Matthew 6:19-23 Reflection
There are two important words from the gospel to think about. Jesus spoke about treasure and the eye.
There are two kinds of treasures: 1) earthly treasure that is consumable and that can be taken away or eaten by insects; 2) heavenly treasure that can last, not just for a lifetime, but for all eternity. So the question is: What kind of treasure do you have?
Jesus says: Where your treasure is, there is where your heart is. So, what is the content of your heart? Is it earthly or heavenly? Is it more on material things or is it more on love, faith, and hope – the things that last? Now is time to refocus your investment.
And then, there is the eye. How is your eyesight now? Is it sound? Okay, we may have a 20/20 vision but many times, we don’t really see the important things in life. In fact, we see only what is good for our physical life. All the while, we don’t see or we refuse to see what is essential.
In the novel “The Little Prince”, the fox said: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the naked eye.”
There. We now have the connection between our two words: treasure and the eye. If we use our heart to reflect on the things we see, we will understand that the things of this world are not that very important. What really matters are good relationships with our creator and with other beings. When we use our eyes to see what is good, what is true, and what is beautiful, when we start to see the beauty in us and in others or for that matter, the beauty of creation, then we can have wholeness that Jesus is talking about. Then we can say that our sight is sound!
The problem is spiritual blindness. Our physical eyes may actually see but many times we overlook what matters most. Maybe we are too proud of ourselves that we don’t acknowledge what is good in others. Maybe we are too conceited that we can’t see our own little imperfections. Or perhaps, our greed makes us too busy accumulating earthly treasures and forget to see the needs of our family and loved ones. We may actually see but our life is in darkness.
In short, the gospel is teaching us to have proper perspective. With discernment, we are able to see the real value of material things. May we now begin to walk in the light, not in darkness. Let us invest in the things that bring us to eternal life.
Matthew 6:19-23 Discussion Questions
1. How do you define treasure? As of now, what is your most important treasure?
2. What is your most important goal in life? What do you value the most?
3. What can you give up for the sake of Christ?
4. What is spiritual blindness?
5. Can you name at least 5 beautiful things today? can you name at least 10 or more?
6. In what instances when you tend to criticize others instead of appreciating them?
7. How can people be in darkness?
Matthew 6:19-23 Quotes for meditation
1. “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
2. “The lamp of the body is the eye”
Matthew 6:19-23 Topic Outline
1. Treasures on Earth
2. Treasures in Heaven
3. Strong Desires / Obsessions
4. The eye as the lamp of the body
5. Light and darkness
6. Being positive or negative
7. The right vision or perspective
More thoughts on treasures and the eyes:
Most people have the desire to become financially independent and people who have achieved such status are admired so much. The problem is when we neglect our relationship with God and with other people in the process of accumulating financial resources. We work so hard to the point of exhaustion that we become too tired and sleepy to pray or go to church. We also become to stingy even if our neighbor is dying of hunger. Then when tragedy strikes, it is too late to realize that money can not really give us true happiness. May we have the eyes of faith to see this truth.
Some are blessed with earthly treasures that we either do not deserve or that we have worked so hard to attain. May we learned to share it with others. Thus we become a blessing to others and by doing so, we have earned favor in heaven.
On the other hand, we may feel embarrassed or jealous because our neighbor is blessed so much earthly treasure while we are still struggling to make end meet. We need not worry as long as we devoted enough time in serving the Lord and the needy. That is the treasure that is far more important in the eyes of God than silver or gold.
See also: Matthew 19:16-22 Reflection