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19th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Ages 9-12): Our Treasure

(Begin by reading the Gospel. Sometimes it is good to have someone read it to you. The Word is meant to be heard.)

Jesus looks around at his small band of followers. How much he loves this little flock. He wants to reassure them. He wants them to know how to receive the Kingdom—the treasure—that is so important to him.

Jesus says,

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

God delights in giving. The Kingdom that Jesus constantly speaks of—God gives it to the little flock. God wants Jesus' flock to have this gift.

Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What do we treasure most? There are many things we have that are special.

Some of us are collectors—we like to have many things. We organize them; we admire them.

Some of us have just a few things we value more than anything else. We guard them carefully. We would prefer not to share.

Sometimes we think about the one thing we would save if we had to choose from all our possessions. Which one is the most special? What brings us joy?

But Jesus is not thinking about possessions. Sell them, he says. Take care of the poor.

The treasure he thinks of cannot be stolen or destroyed. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Where is Jesus' heart? What does he treasure?

Perhaps that is the wrong question.

Who does Jesus treasure?

He certainly treasures his little flock. He gives them his heart.

Perhaps we must ask ourselves instead, then, who do we treasure most? Who brings us joy?

Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.

We can remember when we were little, waiting at home for someone to arrive—a special visitor, a loved one who has been away. We remember running to the window to watch for them, hoping to be the first one to see them coming, the first one to get to the door to open it. Be like this, Jesus says. Be ready to open the door.

Blessed are those whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those ones.

How would we describe this master? He serves the ones who serve him.

Imagine opening the door for him.

He comes to offer us his heart.

Jesus does not tell us how to be ready. He does not even really say what we are getting ready for. He simply offers us his heart, his greatest treasure.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Jesus wants to reassure us, his little flock. He wants us to know how to receive the Kingdom that is so important to him. Will we treasure him? Will our heart be with him?

How can we do this?

How do we treasure the people we love the most, the people who bring us joy?

We listen to them, we share meals with them, we spend time with them.

We can do these things with Jesus, too, for our heart is with him,

for he is our treasure.

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