By Megan Lowes
In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus tell His disciples “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Matthew 6:21). Throughout this Gospel passage, Jesus goes onto share with His disciples that they must focus on placing their “treasure” in Heaven rather than on Earth, for when you place your treasure in Heaven, that is where your heart, mind and spirit will also be. It is important for me to remember to
offer up all that I do to build up the Kingdom of Heaven while on Earth,
instead of solely focusing on what I do and accomplish. While time on Earth is short lived, each person will one day have eternal life in Heaven with our Father and all of the Saints.
When reflecting upon the world treasure, I not only think of money and material possessions, but also awards, accomplishments and our attitudes. Even though these may not be physical objects, they can keep me from truly knowing God and sharing his love with others. When I become too focused on these objects, I can stir away from who I truly am, as well as the person God wants me to be.
When I was younger, one of the things I struggled with most was making friends and fitting in. Just like many people may feel at one time or another, I wanted to be liked and accepted. I wanted to be cool and someone that others could look up to. I remember trying to do this by attempting to mimic the attitudes and words of my classmates, adopting some of their styles of fashion through wearing similar wardrobes or make-up which I felt silly wearing.
I was putting my “treasure” into focusing on how others viewed and thought of me, instead of what was the right thing to do, speak or act.
Being popular and liked was the most important thing to me, not thinking about how God calls us to be.
Throughout my life, I have been blessed with many accomplishments and successes. During my school years and early adult years, I have found myself so focused with trying to win one award or another because I felt that it would mean that I am great. I have often found myself volunteering for a leadership role because I felt that it would mean I’m successful and powerful and others should look up to me. I have earned my Bachelor and Master degrees and am beginning my Doctoral degree in the coming weeks. These are all wonderful accomplishments that I have been proud of myself for obtaining
however I often find myself taking a pause and reflecting “are these all for the right reasons?!”
I have always been fond of doing my best, but why do I want to? Is it because I want to be happy with knowing I worked hard and did my best? Is it because I want to impress others with my abilities? Or is it for another selfish reason? I find myself asking these questions often and sometimes, I’m not even sure of the answer. However, with all that I do, I try to challenge myself in asking “how am I offering what I am doing up to God? Am I building up His Kingdom?”
It is important to remind myself daily to place my treasure in the Kingdom of Heaven as an offering to God.
Through the busyness of the day or even all of the positive and negative noises in my life, it is so easy to lose track of what I am doing and why I are doing it, whether it seems like a complete burden or a great joy. Having set times during the day to pray, such as attending daily morning Mass and praying with my coworkers at lunch, has helped me greatly with being in tone of who I am as a person, what are the current blessings in my life and how am I offering up my treasure to God. While this is a daily challenge, it is important to think about what I can do to remind myself how to offer up my treasure to Heaven. Every person has a different way that works for us to remember, and while it may take some time, it is important to be persistent and give it attention to become a habit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan is a 2009 graduate of Saint Joseph Academy. After graduating from SJA, she attended John Carroll University and earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in May 2013. Since graduating from John Carroll, Megan has spent the last three years working within ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland. Since October 2015, she has served as the Pastoral Associate at Saint Clarence Parish in North Olmsted. Additionally, Megan completed her Masters of Nonprofit Administration in May 2016 from John Carroll University. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing arts and crafts, exercising and spending time in nature.