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Lent challenges us to question what we treasure in life

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Philip Kosloski - published on 02/07/24

Jesus gives us the following motto to live by during Lent: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Lent is a unique time in the Church’s calendar that focuses on detachment from the things of this world. As Jesus went into the desert to pray, so do we go into the desert to reflect on our lives and the state of our souls.

In particular, St. John Paul II commented in his message for Lent in 1980 on how Lent is a time to examine the “treasures” of our lives:

The spirit of penance and its practice impel us to detach ourselves sincerely from our unnecessary possessions, and even sometimes from our necessary ones, which prevent us from really “being” as God wishes us to be: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. Is our heart attached to material wealth, to power over others, to subtle ways of dominating? If so, we need Christ, the Easter Liberator, who, if we wish him to, can free us of all the bonds of sin that hold us fast.

St. John Paul II then continues by challenging us not only to identify the false treasures we cling to, but also to get rid of them:

Let us prepare to allow ourselves to be enriched by the grace of the Resurrection, by ridding ourselves of all false treasures: the material goods that we do not need are often the very conditions for the survival of millions of human beings. Also, in addition to their bare subsistence, hundreds of millions of people are waiting for us to help them to give themselves the necessary means both for their own full human advancement and for the economic and cultural development of their countries.

In this way, we can purify our hearts through detachment and charity. We can give away our treasures so that others may prosper.

As we enter into Lent, may we ask ourselves what we truly treasure in life and try to rid ourselves of anything that might take us away from God.

Tags:
Devotions and FeastsLentPope John Paul II
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