Daily Gospel – Friday, June 21, 2024 – Matthew 6,19-23 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (2 Kings 11,1-4.9-18.20)

Reading of the Second Book of Kings.

When Atália, mother of Ochozias, learned that her son was dead, she set about exterminating the entire royal family. But Josaba, daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, kidnapped his son Joash from among the king’s sons, who were about to be slaughtered, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So she hid him from Atália and he was not killed. And he remained with her for six years, hiding in the temple of the Lord, while Atália reigned in the country. In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the centurions of the Cherethites and the escort, and brought them with him into the temple of the Lord. He made a contract with them, ordered them to take an oath in the temple of the Lord and showed them the king’s son. The centurions did everything that Jehoiada the priest commanded them. Each man gathered his men, both those who went on duty on the Sabbath and those who went out. They came to Jehoiada the priest, and he handed over David’s spears and shields, which were in the temple of the Lord, to the centurions. Then, the men of the escort, weapons in hand, took up positions from the right side of the temple to the left, between the altar and the temple, around the king. Then Jehoiada presented the king’s son, girded him with the diadem and handed him the document of the Covenant. And they proclaimed him king, anointed him and, clapping their hands, shouted: “Long live the king!” Hearing the cries of the people, Atália came towards the crowd in the temple of the Lord. When she saw the king standing on the dais, according to custom, the king’s chiefs and trumpeters beside him, and all the people of the country rejoicing with joy and blowing trumpets, Atália tore her clothes and cried out: “Treason! Treason! ” Then the priest Jehoiada ordered the centurions who commanded the troop: “Take her outside the temple precincts, and if anyone follows her, let him be put to death with the sword.” For the priest had said, “Do not be killed in the temple of the Lord.” They grabbed her and pushed her along the path from the Horse Gate to the palace, and there she was killed. Then, Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king and the people, by which he committed himself to be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. All the people of the country then went to the Temple of Baal and demolished it. They completely destroyed the altars and images and killed Matthan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. And Jehoiada the priest set guards in the house of the Lord. All the people of the country celebrated him and the city remained calm.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 6,19-23)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures here on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. Instead, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys , nor do thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be enlightened. sick, your whole body will be in darkness. Now if the light that is in you is darkness, how great will be the darkness.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we gather today to reflect on the Scriptures, we are graced with passages that challenge us to reflect deeply on where we place our trust and how we illuminate the world around us. Today’s readings call us to consider the kingdom of God as our true treasure and to live lives that reflect this truth in all our actions.

In the First Reading, from the book of Kings, we are introduced to a tumultuous period in Israel’s history. Jezebel, mother of King Ahaziah, had died and her daughter Athaliah took the throne. Athaliah was a cruel queen, who tried to exterminate all royal descendants to consolidate her power. However, Joash, son of Ahaziah, was hidden in the temple by his aunt Jesheba and protected by the priest Jehoiada. After six years, Jehoiada gathered the captains of the guard and led them to make a pact in the temple, anointing Joash as king. They proclaimed Joash king, destroyed the altars of Baal, and brought peace and order to the kingdom.

This passage shows us the struggle between evil power and God’s justice. Athaliah represents the tyrannical government that opposes the ways of the Lord, while Joash, still a child, symbolizes hope and the promise of restoration. The temple, where Joash is hidden, represents God’s protection and the faithfulness of His people.

This story may seem distant from our modern lives, but let us think of it as a mirror of our own internal struggles. Athaliah can be seen as the idols and temptations that try to take control of our hearts, turning us away from God’s ways. But, just as Joash was protected and prepared in the temple, we are also called to seek refuge in God, to find our strength in his presence, and to prepare ourselves to fulfill our mission in the world.

Now, let us turn our gaze to the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus offers us a powerful reflection on where we should deposit our true treasure: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break in and steal. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupts and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

This passage invites us to deep introspection. In a society that often values materialism and the accumulation of possessions, Jesus calls us to a higher understanding of wealth. True treasure is not something we can measure in terms of money or possessions, but rather in terms of faith, love, and justice.

Let’s use a simple metaphor: think of a bank. When we deposit our money in a bank, we trust that it will be safe and will earn interest over time. Likewise, Jesus invites us to deposit our spiritual treasure in the heavenly “bank.” This spiritual treasure is made up of acts of kindness, mercy, and faithfulness to God. In doing so, we guarantee an eternal return, a treasure that will never be eroded by time or lost to this world’s circumstances.

Jesus continues with a metaphor about light: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is simple, your whole body will be luminous. But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be in darkness. Now if the light that is in you is darkness, how great will be the darkness!”

Here, Jesus teaches us about the importance of our perspective and intention. If our eyes are fixed on the good, if we seek God’s light in all things, then our lives will reflect that light. But if our eyes are clouded by greed, envy, or selfish desires, then our lives will be marked by darkness. Our spiritual vision must be clear and focused on Christ, for only then can we be truly enlightened and enlighten others.

Let’s bring these teachings into our everyday lives. At work, in family, and in community, how are we accumulating our treasure? Are we investing our time and energy in things that reflect God’s love? Are we illuminating our lives and the lives of those around us with the light of Christ?

Let’s think of a practical example: imagine a mother or father who works tirelessly to provide for their family. If this work is done with a heart for love and genuine provision, it becomes a treasure in heaven. But if work becomes an obsession, a means of accumulating material wealth at the expense of neglecting family or faith, then that work can become a burden, a darkness.

Thus, we are called to balance our efforts in life with a clear vision of what really matters. The heavenly treasure is built through small acts of love, justice, and mercy. When we help a neighbor in need, when we take the time to listen to someone who is suffering, when we make ethical choices even if they are difficult, we are storing up treasures in heaven.

As we close our reflection, let us ask God to help us keep our eyes fixed on the true treasure. May we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, trusting that all other things will be added to us. May our hearts always be focused on God’s love and may our lives reflect this light to the world.

Lord, we thank You for Your word that guides us and illuminates our paths. Help us to live according to Your teachings, accumulating treasures in heaven and keeping our hearts pure and focused on You. May we be light in the world, reflecting Your grace and love in all our actions. Amen.

We leave here today with the mission to be witnesses of the love of Christ, to live lives that store up treasures in heaven, and to illuminate the world around us with the light of God. May the grace of the Lord always be with us and may we be true disciples of his word. Amen.