Find The Light In The Darkest Parts of Ourselves
‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store 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 your heart will be also.'
So says the Gospel according to Matthew that we read each year on Ash Wednesday as we begin Lent.
That reading always reminds me of the parable of the rich young man. In this parable, a rich young man, a ruler in some of the Gospels, seeks out Jesus and questions Him on how to obtain eternal life.
This rich young man is not there to temp Jesus. He is not there to mock or challenge Jesus. Instead, the rich young man is there because he believes that there is an eternal life and believes that Jesus has the knowledge that will lead him to it.
Jesus first tells him to follow the commandments. “I have since birth,” the rich young man replies. “What else am I lacking? What else shall I do?”
“Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor”, says Jesus. “And come follow me.”
And the man leaves downhearted, for he had a lot of possessions. And although he believed, and although he cared about eternity, the rich young man knew where his heart lay, and ultimately it lay in worldly goods and possessions.
Each Lent, the church calls us search out the darkest parts of ourselves and expose these to the light. Your challenge also may be with possessions, or it may be with anger. Or it may be with a position you enjoy in society. Every one of us has treasure in which we are invested that is pulling us away from God and causing us to remained focused on the world.
Use the time in Lent to look deep within. Identify the things you truly treasure that are keeping you from God and let them go.
I invite you to a Holy Lent.