When you think of buried treasure, we think of pirates and maps and gold doubloons. We think of treasure maps where "X" marks the spot! We certainly don't think Heaven and the life hereafter. In this Sunday's gospel, Jesus compares Heaven to buried treasure that a man finds in a field. He says that the man and the merchant sell everything that they have in order that they may have these great items. Imagine, selling everything you have for one single item. That's a heck of an investment! That buried treasure had better be pretty valuable.
So Jesus is giving us that treasure map with the "X" clearly marked. He is telling us where the most valuable treasure is. He is even willing to walk us to the treasure. That is how valuable Heaven is and that's how much He wants us to find it. That's how we should see it. That nothing on this Earth is as valuable as Heaven is. And it's ours. Jesus paid the price for us so that we could have it. He is giving us this wonderful gift. He's giving us the gift of eternal happiness. He is giving us the opportunity to spend eternity in his loving embrace where we will not want for anything.
We don't cherish this treasure that Jesus bought for us though. We tend to squander it away for nothing. Every time we sin it is like we are telling God that the gift that Jesus got for us is not important enough. We would rather spread rumors about our boss or co-workers. We would rather experience anger and jealousy. We prefer to get drunk or look at porn. We are telling him that these temporary pleasures are more valuable to us that He is.
What fools we are. Nothing on this Earth is worth our salvation. No one should be more important to us than our souls. Yet, time and time again, we risk everything for these temporal pleasures. And it's not like Jesus doesn't warn us what will happen. In the same passage, He tells us that in the end times the angels will sort through the wicked and righteous and throw the wicked into the fires of Hell. We read that and still pick Earthly pleasures.
So what do we need to do? We need to put down the treasure map that society gives us and realize it that it is only going to lead us to fool's gold. Temporary pleasures that will go away with the tide. We need to pick up the map that Jesus has given us. Don't get scared off by the path we have to take because yes, it is going to be perilous. We have other aids besides the map to help us to the "X." We have the church. We have scripture. We have the sacraments. And most of all . . . we have Jesus showing us the way. We just have to make sure we are reading the correct map.
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