Friday's Gospel: Where Is Your Heart?

Gospel for Friday in the 11th Week of Ordinary Time, and commentary.

Gospel (Mt 6:19-23)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”


Jesus’ teachings often contain nuggets of human wisdom that reflect the wisdom tradition of Israel. For example, in the book of Proverbs we read: “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be wise enough to desist” (Prov 23:4).

But in this Gospel passage our Lord doesn’t ask us to set aside the natural human inclination to save money for when we will need it, the prudence of preparing for the future. Rather he stresses the type of riches we should strive to accumulate: heavenly treasures.

In another place in the Gospel, when a young man asks our Lord what he has to do to be perfect, Jesus answers: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mt 19:21).

The only wealth that can never be lost is the love that each of us has shown during the time we have been given. Saint John of the Cross said that at the end of our lives we will be judged on our love, that is, on our specific commitment to love and serve God and our brothers and sisters.

While it is certainly true that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” the opposite is also true: “where your heart is, that is where you are accumulating your treasure.” That's why from time to time it is helpful to think about where our heart is placed, how we invest our time, what our concerns are. This will help us to realize whether we are concerned only about our own things or whether we make space for others: whether the driving force of our life is a generous service to God and our fellow men and women.

Saint Josemaría told us clearly what the secret for happiness is: “To be happy, what is needed is not an easy life, but a heart in love” (Furrow, no. 795).

Giovanni Vassallo