Our proper relationship to material things is the theme of the Gospel lessons for the last two weeks. Last Sunday we heard the parable of the Rich Fool – whose sole concern was for his wealth and his need to protect it to the exclusion of all else. In his effort to manage his riches he thought only of himself and his own well being – never stopping to consider God or his neighbor. The upshot of all of this, the reason that he was considered a fool, was that all of his efforts were directed at protecting the riches in this life, with no regard for his eternal life. And the irony was, that when he died, his wealth, what had been his only concern in life, would become irrelevant – for he couldn’t take it with him.
This Sunday we are reminded that our fears and worries about our possessions distract us from focusing on what is most important in life. Jesus asks us to free ourselves from the burden of these worries over our earthly possessions - this obsession with material goods - and look heavenward to the treasures that exist for us in eternity.
Most of our possessions in time begin to wear - the once brilliant colors fade, the expertly woven threads begin to unravel…they are temporary. But Jesus calls on his followers to focus on the eternal, not the temporary, on the imperishable things of heaven, not the short-lived, moth-eaten articles of this world. He tells them to sell their possessions, give alms; to make purses that do not wear out, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys; to find in them an unfailing treasure in heaven. For where their treasure is, there their hearts will be also.