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When there’s light, but it’s not shining brightly

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 06/17/22

Having our heart in heaven means cultivating a life of faith that produces inner freedom in us

Today’s readings are here.

Matthew 6:19-23

Reflection

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” The suggestion in today’s Gospel is decisive for each of us. Find out where you have put your heart, and you will understand what you consider to be treasure.

You may be shocked or amazed. You might realize that the bank where you have deposited your heart is not particularly secure, and rather than give you returns, it consumes you with anxiety, fear, and tension. You might realize that there are places where treasures wear out and where thieves break in and steal. And then instead there are other places that are safe, where your heart yields a hundred times in return and guarantees you an aftertaste of heaven already on earth.

For certain investments you have to be cunning in a holy way. Heaven is a safe place to put your heart, because if your heart is there then things on earth will work too. The Gospel doesn’t say this to make us live in an alienated state, but to make us live according to a logic that is no longer worldly. Having our heart in heaven means cultivating a life of faith that produces inner freedom in us, such that it liberates everything we do on earth and in this life. 

Then the Gospel continues,

If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be!

Translated into common language, it means that the light is not the only thing that is important; it also matters how that light enters into us. If we have wounds, hindrances, and sins that obstruct our view of light, then there will be dense darkness within us. It’s kind of like people who, instead of lashing out at the light for not shining enough, must realize that if they cleaned their window panes the situation would change dramatically. 

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese of Italy and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Aleteia is proud to offer this commentary on the readings for daily Mass, in collaboration with Fr. Epicoco.

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