In Matthew’s gospel today at Mass, Jesus speaks of treasures in heaven. Usually treasures for us are gold, silver, works of art, gems, degrees from school, signs of achievement. But they’re the “treasures of earth” Jesus speaks of in the gospel.
Thieves can steal them away; they can be eaten by moths and forgotten. They don’t last. (Matthew 6,19-23)
Other treasures are for heaven. St. Paul sees some of them in his trials for the gospel. God won’t forget his sufferings: the beatings, imprisonments, brushes with death, the long journeys over seas, rivers, and wildernesses where robbers waited. Paul lists dangers he faced, both from enemies and his own people. God wont forget any of them, down to his sleepless nights and bouts with the cold.
He ends his list with what might be the biggest treasure of them all; “the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?” He’s tried to be responsible everyday with the people around him, whether they’re the weak or the trying. That’s the lasting treasure God holds in heaven. (2 Corinthians 11,18 ff)
We might not be able to rival Paul’s list from his missionary travels, but let’s keep Paul’s last important achievement in mind. If we do what we have to do each day as well as we can, if we are faithful to our daily duty, if we bear our daily cross, if we bear with the weak and the difficult, won’t that be our treasure?
God counts it so.