“For where your treasure be, there will your heart be also”. Does my heart already know its treasure?
The faith journey we undertake in life seems to suggest so. This is even so for those of us who are not fully tuned to our faith or are at-this-moment disbelievers. We sometimes stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the end goal of our journey is to attain the heavenly treasure of eternal life. “Stubborn” because we are focused on earthly treasures, a pursuit that has perhaps blinded us from the end game in which we will all participate.
But somehow our heart seem to know. How is this possible that ‘my heart’ knows and ‘I’ don’t?
When we are caught up in the treasure hunt for all things valued in this world, we bury our true identity deeper into our inner self. When we place more importance on building barns for material wealth, the importance of our faith life falls further down our list of desires. At some point down there, God becomes unimportant. We have allowed the chase of earthly needs to bury the identity of who we truly are: life created and given by God.
Our soul will always wander back towards its Creator. Our soul knows the treasure and the Creator himself will lead all souls back to Him.
But our soul has a human identity. It is with this identity that we navigate the complex maze of our earthly life. As humans, we are associated with ‘human weaknesses’, chief of which is our weakness for earthly comforts to navigate the maze. So the human ‘me’ goes into a frenzy in all directions in search of these earthly comforts, while beneath the line where my true identity is found, my heart beats reminding ‘me’ that ‘I’ should pursue “a treasure no thief can reach it or no moth destroy it”.
We are all given the freedom of choice to live in our human ways. In the race of life, we will experience joys alongside despair, broken dreams alongside growing hope. In moments of despair or hope, the ‘I’ in me will recoil into the contemplative silence of ‘my heart’. It is here in the heart that human meet divine: where ‘I’ meet my soul. In this silence, we try to make sense of what our life actually mean. We are stirred into a search and unknowingly a journey begin to take on increasing prominence in us.
This journey is our journey towards our heaven; it manifest itself at some stage in life when we seek to know our God better, when we walk our path to walk closer to Him. This is the result of an unseen force that pulls us in. This is the gift of “Faith”.
Our heart knows this gift although the ‘I’ in me in my intellectual, human form may not yet accept or make sense of it. Faith is given by God our Creator as a compass to lead us home.
The readings today comes alive! It is by faith we obey the stirring call to begin searching for meaning. It is by faith ‘my heart’ set out, but the ‘I’ does not know where it is going. This is often true in our experiences of the process where someone who was been away from Church begin returning to faith life. The ‘I’ may not even know what it is searching for but by faith we will eventually discover. It is “by faith ‘I’ set out without knowing where I am going. It is by faith, I will arrive”.
It is by faith that we go on this journey. It is by faith we will meet people along the way recognizing now the purpose of our journey: that we are “only strangers and nomads on earth”. It is by faith we will know that we seekers of a God yet unknown to us personally. By faith, we will spurn opportunities to return to our old ways. By faith, we take on a new life. “We had the opportunity to go back to it; but in fact we were longing for a better homeland, our heavenly homeland”.
But it is important how we travel our journey. By faith, ‘my heart’ and ‘I’ unite to make God more visible in our journey through the maze of life. We must participate in the game of life, not despairing in unfavourable situations, always playing on in hope. By faith we live life exchanging earthly pawns for heavenly knights, and arrive at the end game in a winning position for our treasure in heaven.
By faith we meet people along the way and form communities
“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen”
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time