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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

How Do You Value the Goods of Heaven?

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Lord, I love your commands.”Ps. 119

What value do you place on the teachings of Jesus, on spiritual and eternal values? In this world we are only taught to value the fleeting, what we do not need to be instilled, because naturally and instinctively we appreciate and take care of it, such as money, material goods, good jobs, health, etc. That is why Jesus did not need to talk to us about that, but about what we do not know how to value naturally, because it is supernatural, about the values of heaven that are spiritual.

It is about the values of heaven, of a value abysmally superior to everything on earth that obsesses and passionates us so much; but unfortunately few receive the message of Jesus with faith and confidence, few learn from his teaching and welcome the immense treasure that it contains. But Jesus was very clear and expressed it openly; let’s consider just a few texts where he shows the superior value of the spiritual and eternal over everything earthly and transient:

“What good is it for man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul?”Matthew 16:26

“Do not fear those who can only kill the body, but not the soul; Rather fear Him who can destroy soul and body in hell.”Matthew 10:28

“The Kingdom of Heaven resembles a treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it hides it again, and full of joy, goes and sells what he has and buys that field. The Kingdom of Heaven also resembles a merchant in fine pearls who, finding a very valuable pearl, goes and sells what he has and buys it.”Matt 13:44

“Moreover, I consider everything at present as dead weight, compared to that extraordinary thing that is to know Christ Jesus, my Lord, by whom I lost all things, and I have them for rubbish to gain Christ.Phil 3.8

What are those values of heaven that surpass in value everything in this world? Eternal life, which is divine, without deceit, without sin, is the kingdom of God, where its fruits and gifts abound if we let Him reign; we already taste here His love, joy, peace, goodness, meekness,…; we also enjoy His truth that makes us free from addictions, attachments, bonds, lies, sin; we experience the freedom of God’s children. For we partake of the light of His truth which gives us wisdom and discernment, knowledge and fear of God, which means faith and total trust in Him.

It is what God wants us to begin to enjoy already in this world, and that is only received by faith and trust in his words. Being of his sheep who allow themselves to be guided by their good shepherd, they listen to him and follow him, because they trust in his love and protection. It is the way that leads us to Heaven, that of letting Jesus be Lord in our lives.

“…Lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves do not penetrate or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:20ff

Readings for the Week

Sunday: 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12/Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130 (97a)/Rom 8:28-30/Mt 13:44-52 or 13:44-46
Monday: Ex 32:15-24, 30-34/Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23/Mt 13:31-35
Tuesday: Ex 33:7-11; 34:5b-9, 28/Ps 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13/Mt 13:36-43
Wednesday: Ex 34:29-35/Ps 99:5, 6, 7, 9/Mt 13:44-46
Thursday: Ex 40:16-21, 34-38/Ps 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11/Mt 13:47-53
Friday: Lv 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37/Ps 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11ab/Mt 13:54-58
Saturday: Lv 25:1, 8-17/Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8/M 14:1-12
Next Sunday: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14/Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 9/2 Pt 1:16-19/Mt 17:1-9

Observances for the Week

Sunday: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Tuesday: St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Wednesday: St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop; St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest
Friday: St. John Vianney, Priest
Saturday: The Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major
Next Sunday: The Transfiguration of the Lord

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