11th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday

In today’s Gospel Our Lord puts us on guard against treasuring things in our hearts that will not endure and will blind us to the bigger picture: the true worth of things, the ones we love, where we fit in the grand scheme of things, and the primacy of God. Golden ingots and junk bonds both pass away, just at different rates and with different risks, and the true treasure we should be striving for is Heaven, which is not only eternal life, but a life filled with joy at spending eternity with the real treasure: God and the ones we love. When our hearts and gaze are fixed on that, everything else is put into perspective: possessions, situations, and circumstances all become means of investing in a joyful eternal life for ourselves and for others. Living a life of virtue expands our horizon and keeps us focused on doing the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people out of love for God.

Our Lord puts us on guard today against the alternative to a desire for Heaven and for virtue. When someone is in the grips of vice, we describe them as blinded: blinded by pride, by greed, by ambition, by lust, by hatred, etc. That blinding process begins with a sort of vitiated myopia that fixes the heart on something secondary, blurring everything else in view, distorting our vision and blinding us to the bigger picture. People often in the grips of vice cannot see a way out of their situation: it seems impossible to them to change. The help and example of virtuous people is that ray of sunshine that they need to entertain the thought of a way out of their predicament and start bringing things again into proper focus. If vice narrows our view and our heart, virtue expands them again to all the rich possibilities of life from here to eternity.

Let’s thank Our Lord today for all the examples of virtue we’ve seen in our lives, and ask him to help us broaden our horizons again if we’re suffering from spiritual myopia.

Readings: 2 Corinthians 11:18, 21–30; Psalm 34:2–7; Matthew 6:19–23.