2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20
Matthew 6:19-23


The phrase that resonates with me is,

“ Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Jesus Christ’s words deserve some careful contemplation on our part! Where is your treasure? Where is your heart.

I have often ruminated on the phrase over the years and its meaning.

In one instance a came across in Friedrich NietzscheOn the Genealogy of Morals, where he adds more to this quote – he writes……:

It has rightly been said that: ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’; our treasure is to be found in the beehives of knowledge.  As spiritual bees from birth, this is our eternal destination, our hearts are set on one thing only, ‘bringing something home.’

What is this something?

What was he getting at? I’m not a philosophy scholar so I can only assume here.

I’ve always thought that he meant “the things we have buried and hidden away” within ourselves as treasure. Nietzsche was very keen on raising up character traits which tended be to considered  “unpleasant.” I believed he meant that once we identify these things inside ourselves, we will know our own hearts and this is when we truly start to gain insight and knowledge into what really matters to us.

Put another way, “Our task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it.”
― Rumi

Those of you who have been primary/infant school educations or have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews would be familiar with their fascination with Harry Potter novels and movies. I have to admit I’ve watched my share of the movies, and this is where I came across the quote again and where my ruminating on the meaning of the quote commenced once again.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to switch on the light” (Dumbledore) This is an enlightening message from the novel, one of resilience and hope but it is also coupled with, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) or is it…”For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Rowling 325)

 In one of the movies/novels (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) we learn of a foolish mistake that Dumbledore makes as a young man. In his pursuit of fame and power, he loses sight of what truly matters and is important. Dumbledores failure here, along with his obsessions results in the death of his sister. The story continues with Harry coming across Ariana Dumbledore’s gravestone; reading the inscription  …”For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Harry comes to the realisation that Albus Dumbledore would always live with the fatal consequences of his choices.

In this scenario the message for me is clear –  there is nothing more important than family love and that goes for those who are not blood relatives, but who we call family as well. In my case it’s those I call my adopted family.  This is the one power that matters and in the context of this Harry Potter novel, Dumbledore learnt this lesson the hard way and never forgot it – it was the only power that mattered to him, and  to Harry also  – the only power that could and can destroy pure evil.

After that one horrible mistake, Dumbledore kept his priorities straight.

I believe that the interpretation of the phrase /gospel changes somewhat according to the context one hears it in. Therefore, there can be many interpretations of its meaning.  For some it may mean that heaven is the only thing to be treasured while for others it means that your heart will follow what you treasure.  Simply for Christians the message is “Keep your eye on the prize – or your priorities on the right things

There is a great a great message in Jesus’ praxis here. A Praxis that synthesises the theory and practice in which one informs the other. A praxis that is based on critical thinking and reflection in any good teacher; and Jesus after all is teacher par excellence.

There’s nothing wrong with having earthly possessions as long as we don’t lose sight of more important things. When we focus on what really matters and on serving others, we can find real happiness.”

Ruminate on the following:

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”Bottom of Form

What is your treasure?

Where is your Heart? What things are you passionate about?

What do you value most in life?

What is a real treasure worth?

Michael Schiano has been a member of St. Brigid’s parish since 1990. As a parish member he has served on the Parish Pastoral Council, Liturgy Committee, Bereavement Team and is a member of the Passionist Companions. He has been an educator in the Archdiocese and has held positions in middle management and executive leadership positions. He currently works in Aged Care in the roles of Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator and Chaplaincy at Brigidine House, Randwick; St. Anne’s Hunters Hill; Pastoral Care Officer at Calvary Ryde.