Wis 18:6-9; Heb 11:1-2, 8-19; Lk 12: 32-48
As a child I really enjoyed playing hide and seek. I loved it, no matter if I was the one hiding…trying not to get caught, … or if I was the one seeking; …. who was trying to catch those hiding unexpectedly. The seeker would close his/her eyes and count to 20 … giving time for the others … to hide. But you could hear the count, “One, Two, Three…All the Way To 20. Then you would heed the cry, …. Ready or not here I come.”
Four things were always certain in the game: The “Seeker” was surely coming. “He” was coming when they were good and ready …. and not before. “He” was coming whether you were ready or not. And If you were not ready, …. then you would pay the consequences. Little did I realize as a child how much this game of hide and seek paralleled the Return…The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
In our Gospel text, the master is off to a wedding banquet. His servants …. are at the family farm. Some are alert, … ready for his return; some are not ready. The countdown has begun. No one knows exactly when the master will return. Thus Jesus exhorted his disciples and us today concerning the importance of being ready.
The gospel seems demanding because its emphasis is on our work, our service, our responsibility to build the kingdom of God. Just as soon as Jesus lowers that obligation upon us, it is easy to flee for cover. We can all look for excuses. “Yes, I know I’m supposed to be loving, generous, forgiving, patient, and kind, but I have only so much energy.” “I’m not feeling all that well today.” “I have other things that I have to do first.” So, there you have it. Christ calls us to build the kingdom of God, and we have all kinds of reasons why we are too busy, too depressed, too tired, too old, or too weak to do it. So, how do we turn this around? How do we become the servants that Christ asks us to be? How do we motivate ourselves to build God’s kingdom? Are the questions we need ask ourselves constantly.
We can turn this around by fully focusing our mind and hearts in the right direction. “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” This is an extremely important line in today’s Gospel. It tells us that what we treasure will control our hearts. What we value will determine the way that we live. This is so important because we do not have enough time and energy to treasure all things equally. We therefore need to make decisions for what we will place first, what we will value most, what our treasure will be.
I do not think that most of us go from day to day conscious of our treasure. I think we move along trying to do everything. Then, when our time or our energy run short, we end up responding to that which speaks the loudest or to that which seems most attractive. We do not necessarily choose what is most important. Work is important but is it the highest value in our life? Money is essential but should we set that above everything else? Popularity and influence are good but are they worth having at any price? We need to know what it is that we value. We need to be conscious of our treasure.
How do you find out what your treasure is? Take your calendar or your smartphone and examine it. See where you have been placing your time over the last six months. To what do you give your time? How much to work? How much to friends? How much to yourself? Where your time is there will your heart be also. Take out your checkbook or look at last year’s tax return? Where is your money going? How much to your own comfort? How much to your family? How much to those in need? Where your money is there will your heart be also
The gospel calls you to invest in a treasure that will last, a treasure that cannot be stolen or destroyed. How do we secure such a treasure? It is by choosing to love.
I think most of us in our heart of hearts know that love is necessary to build a lasting treasure. The love we give to others is something eternal. The time and energy that we give to our children, our spouses and our friends, even to strangers will not die. I can witness to this from personal experience. I have been privileged to be with people at the moment of death. I will tell you in those last hours the only thing that matters is love. Nothing else has importance. It is the pride parents feel in their children, the years that someone has shared with a spouse, the good times and the intimacies that have been shared between friends which count. When the heart is given to love, when love is its treasure, then the heart is at peace. Even in the face of death, the heart knows that it possesses something which time cannot destroy.
Where your treasure is there will your heart be also. So give your hearts to love, that will lead us to the deepest love—the love of God who alone is our treasure. Jesus wants us to get busy with his commandment he gave us: Love one another as I have loved you…”