Online Sunday Service:
Where is your treasure?
cracks.jpg

In this reflection we will be exploring  Jesus' words in Matthew 6:21 “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”, together with the story of his interaction with the rich young man. We will begin with a short video introduction, which will be followed by a time of sacred reading, leading into a second video with some reflections on the reading.

Sacred Reading:

 

Read the following passage through slowly two or three times, and really allow yourself to use your imagination to enter into the story.

Mark 10:17-27

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him.

“Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ” 

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 

 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is  to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 

The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With people this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

As an ending to the talk, listen to the following song by John Michael Talbot, titled "The lilies of the field":

The Lilies of the FieldJohn Michael Talbot
00:00 / 05:49

For further reflection:

Below are some of the questions and quotes from the talk,  for you to reflect on further:

Pope Francis:

“The path of poverty and self-denial (in the form of fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (through giving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (through prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity.”

He went on to describe fasting to include “being freed from all that weighs us down”.

 

Matthew 6:19-21 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 

Thich Nhat Hanh:

One day the Buddha was sitting in the wood with thirty or forty monks. They had an excellent lunch and they were enjoying the company of each other. There was a farmer passing by and the farmer was very unhappy. He asked the Buddha and the monks whether they had seen his cows passing by. The Buddha said they had not seen any cows passing by.

The farmer said, "Monks, I'm so unhappy. I have twelve cows and I don't know why they all ran away. I have also a few acres of a sesame seed plantation and the insects have eaten up everything. I suffer so much I think I am going to kill myself.

The Buddha said, "My friend, we have not seen any cows passing by here. You might like to look for them in the other direction."

So the farmer thanked him and ran away, and the Buddha turned to his monks and said, "My dear friends, you are the happiest people in the world. You don't have any cows to lose. If you have too many cows to take care of, you will be very busy.

"That is why, in order to be happy, you have to learn the art of cow releasing (laughter). You release the cows one by one. In the beginning you thought that those cows were essential to your happiness, and you tried to get more and more cows. But now you realize that cows are not really conditions for your happiness; they constitute an obstacle for your happiness. That is why you are determined to release your cows."

 

 

Questions for reflection:

  • What are your cows that bring you so much unhappiness?

  • Where is your treasure?

  • What is your life orienting around?

  • Where do you invest your time and energy?

  • What occupies most of your thinking? 

  • What are you unable to let go of?

  • How can you begin gradually releasing your attachments one by one?

  • Are there any areas where you feel called to give to others with open-hearted generosity?

Here is an extract of the song lyrics from, “Anthem” by Canadian singer, song-writer, and poet, Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

That’s how the light gets in

That’s how the light gets in.

The video below shows Leonard Cohen singing this song.

As a closing prayer, listen to the following song by Marcus James, titled "Surrender":

SurrenderMarcus James
00:00 / 04:23
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