June 17, 2022 – Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061722.cfm)
What do you see? What attracts and catches your eye? Beauty and goodness? Or ugliness and failures? Our eyes are usually attracted and caught up by what is already hidden deep within our heart (spiritually speaking), where our emotions and deep thoughts are found. These emotions and thoughts may also be greatly influenced by our longings and inner desires. Thus, we may also ask, what is it that I actually long for, that I desire the most?
Is it comfort and riches? Is it pleasure? Is it inner peace and confidence? Is it forgiveness? Is it love and affection? Is it contentment in life? etc. Depending on what we really long for and desire the most, that our eyes will also be easily attracted into what we see from outside. When what we long for is peace and love, then, our eyes will shall surely be more attracted to things that shall express and show peace and love. Yet, when what is within us are the desires to be powerful, to be rich and influential, to be violent, to take revenge and hate, then, what we shall see are opportunities on how those desires will also be expressed in our actions.
This is how we understand the cruelty we find in the first reading from the Second Book of Kings. Athaliah whose heart was filled with anger and hatred, upon seeing the death of her son, Ahaziah, became more vicious. What she saw were opportunities on how to take revenge, to take the throne and take control and power. Her eyes were attracted on how to slaughter the whole royal family. Athaliah was actually the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel who murdered the innocent Naboth in order to grab his land. Both, worshipped Baal, a false god and where after the life of Prophet Elijah for reminding them of their sins against the Lord God and against the people.
This pictures out what Jesus tells in the Gospel, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.” Indeed, these people were after riches and power for themselves which turned them corrupt and evil. They were certainly, in darkness, as the Gospel says.
However, Jesus calls us today, “to store up treasures in heaven” by looking and by being attracted of the things of heaven. Thus, Jesus invites us to be more conscious of things that will last. Jesus was not talking about material possessions, neither human desires for recognition and power nor human cravings for self-gratification.
Jesus calls us to treasure the relationship we have with God and our relationship among ourselves as families, friends and community, as a church. This means that it is also an invitation to give priority to these relationships, in nurturing and giving importance through sharing of gifts and of our persons and giving sacrifices for one another and not in destroying each other.
Therefore, be daring in building intimate and deeper relationships with God and with others by giving what we have – our time and presence, by not fearing to take sacrifices for our loved ones, and by always being grateful of these relationships. This brings us to see more the needs of others, and not just our own needs and to see on how we can be more life-giving. Kabay pa.