2 Corinthians 11:18,21-30
Our citizenship is the entitlement we acquired since birth, and by its nature, it gives us rights and requires our duties and responsibilities for the sole purpose of living harmoniously in the society where we belong. Today’s Gospel is the continuation of the sermon on the Mount, which gives us a guideline on what to do if we want to be citizens in Heaven.
Today’s opening statement of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew pointed out that the dos and don’ts of treasures appear to be an invitation, but its parallel in the Gospel of Luke, which says, sell your possessions and give to the poor (Lk. 12:33) sounds demanding. God truly knows our human heart (1Sam.16:7) that is prone to seek things of this world (Mt.19:22). We look after those objects or relationships which appear good and desirable to us, believing that these would satisfy the inner longing of our hearts, but St. Augustine had proven that it does not supply fully the inner yearning, for “our heart is restless until it rests in God.”
It reminds me of when I was in Jerusalem. I bought a souvenir for my mum. That was a simple crucifix. When she died a few months after, I saw the cross firmly hanging on the wall. Thinking that she valued it, I attached it to her tombstone. After some years, I visited her grave; I noticed the cross had vanished. Memories of my mum and the cross turned into tears of grief that I could hardly perceive fell unto my cheeks. You and I may not be like that young man in the gospel of Luke who has a lot of possessions, but the impact of giving up or losing someone you love is like a double-edged sword infiltrating the recesses of one’s being. We pray that Jesus may grant us the grace of detachment from all that significantly occupy space in our hearts.
Sr Rosana Estoque CP is a Passionist sister, and the Pastoral Associate at St.Brtigid’s Chruch, Marrickville.