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Seeking worldly treasures leads to a tired, loveless heart, says Francis

By on Friday, 21 June 2013

Pope Francis at a Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Pope Francis at a Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Don’t be fooled by worldly treasures that seduce people but leave them tired, loveless and empty, Pope Francis said in a homily at Mass this morning.

Seek out and gather divine treasures like “love, charity, service, patience, goodness and tenderness”, he said during Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

In his own version of the common saying, “You can’t take it with you” when you die, the Pope said: “I’ve never seen a moving truck following behind a funeral procession. Never.”

While material possessions will remain here on earth, there are treasures that “we can bring with us” to heaven, he said.

However, they are not the things “that you have saved up for yourself, but rather those you have given to others,” which is the gift and presence of “Jesus Christ in us”, the Pope said.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the day’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew, which says not to store up treasures on earth, “but store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart also be.”

The Pope said that in this passage, Jesus connects the kind of treasure that has real value in life and in heaven with the human heart.

God made humanity with a restless heart so people would “look for him, find him and grow”, the Pope said.

Problems occur when people get confused about the kind of treasure they should be seeking and are steered toward the things that don’t come from God, he said.

A restless heart seeking material riches “gets tired, becomes lazy, becomes a loveless heart” that is never satisfied, he said.

People must ask themselves: “What do I have? A tired heart that only wants to settle down,” acquire things and accumulate some “fine savings in the bank?” he said.

When later in the passage Jesus talks about “the lamp of the body is the eye” and says if the eye is sound then the “whole body will be filled with light”, the Pope said the eye represents the heart’s intention.

“A heart that loves” knows how to judge what is good and bad, knows the truth and makes one a person of light, not of darkness, he said.

“A heart of stone” is “attached to earthly treasure”, a “selfish treasure” that can turn into hatred and trigger wars, he said.

Pope Francis asked people to pray that those with hearts of stone would be given hearts of flesh and that their restlessness be marked by “that good apprehension of pressing onward, looking for [God] and letting themselves be sought after by him.”