“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:19-21)
Several years ago I was driving to my daughter’s college to bring her home for the Summer break. It was a long trip so I stopped at a little gas station halfway there to refuel. I pulled up to the pumps behind a beat up old car. It was at least 20 years old. The metal was rusting, the tires were balding, and the muffler was held up by a coat hanger. A young teenage girl sat in the front passenger seat and two much younger girls were in the back.
After filling my gas tank I walked in to pay. The mother of the girls was at the counter desperately digging through her purse. She had bought some small snacks for her children but still needed five more dollars to pay for them. She sighed and started to pick up the snacks to put them back. “I got it,” I said and tossed the money on the counter.
The Mom turned and looked at me with moist eyes. Then suddenly she stepped forward and hugged me. I felt a burst of warmth in my heart that I am sure traveled to my cheeks as well.
The Mom let me go and said, “Thank you.” She smiled, grabbed the snacks and hurried out to her children. I stood there watching them leave and said a prayer for them. Then I walked out into the sunshine feeling lighter than the air around me.
Looking back on that memory reminded me too of the passage in the Bible where Jesus asks the reluctant, rich man to give his wealth to the poor so that he would have “Treasure in Heaven”. I felt so sad for that rich man. He had given up so much in order to keep so little. The treasures of Heaven are beyond anything this world can give us. I know this because we carry some of these treasures within us. The love we share, the good we do, and the kindness we give to others are all treasures of Heaven. They bring us so much joy. They give us so much peace.
They light our paths here on Earth and lead us back to Our Father in Heaven.
By Joseph J. Mazzella