The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
August 7th, 2022 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 12:32-48
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Almost every daily newscast will have some mention of what is called “the economy.” Reports often include such matters as the daily results of the Wall Street Market, employment figures, cost of living estimates and more recently, “the price at the pump.” These reports of dollars and cents, goods and services can stimulate some to make a personal assessment of their personal worth through consulting their bank account balance, their savings and investments and let’s not forget their debts. All these calculations may result in something called “net worth.” In in other words, their “treasure.”
Such calculations of personal value or worth go back centuries, and in reading today’s gospel, it was surely a concern of the contemporaries of Jesus. Back then there might have been many ways to calculate ones’ personal worth or treasure, like land owned or animals in one’s care or by bag of “money,” depending on one’s local monetary system. Or by one’s family success as a parent.
Jesus called attention to another way of calculating personal wealth. It was not learned by counting what one owned or possessed, but by assessing the state of your heart. Look there and you will find your real treasure. And what you find will never be lost. It will be yours forever.
Of course, this reference is not to your physical heart, which supplies enriched nutrition to every part of your body. Rather, Jesus was thinking of our hearts in a metaphorical sense – which is no less real, yet much more important.
Our heart in this sense is the center of our being, the place in us where love begins and is nourished. It is our deep center, that part of us that will be life-giving to us forever. It is where is stored all the loving acts of our life. And, to take the words of Jesus seriously, it’s where we are most ourselves. It’s not our surface or appearance, or even the stuff that we have done. Rather it is what makes each of us unique, alive and developing during every moment of our earthly existence. It is both the deep source and the enduring part of what makes you and me unique and precious in God’s eyes.
And it is in that dimension of our lives, namely our hearts is where our thoughts, words and deeds are collected and preserved – in fact, all the good that we have done. This is what God sees when gazing into is our hearts. So, attend first to that part of you when you want to know your real worth.
©David M. Thomas, PhD