Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

My Treasure

I have a little rock, smaller than the palm of my hand and shaped like a perfect heart. On a summer day while taking a walk with my grandfather, he noticed it on the ground and gave it to me. That was almost fifty years ago, and after moving sixteen times and a lot of life, I still have that little rock. It is one of my greatest treasures.

Heart shaped rockJesus spoke of treasure. He had been telling his followers that the things we worry about – the material things like clothes and food, where we live and how much is in our “storehouses” – have already been provided by the Father. He encouraged them to look at the beauty of the lilies of the field and the helpless birds fed by their Creator. No greater provision could have been made for them.

Your treasure becomes what drives you. Your treasure determines how you spend your time and money and energy. Your treasure dominates your thoughts and consumes your passion. Your treasure defines your soul.
Jesus had just told the parable of the rich fool. This man had planned and hoarded and saved. He had become the rich owner of many storehouses and was proud of his hard work and accumulated abundance. One night – he died. He had a great wealth of the world’s temporary treasure all put away in a “safe” place, and a poverty of eternal treasure stored away in heaven.

I have been trying to remember last year’s Christmas gifts – those I received and those I gave. I remember being tired while shopping. I remember trying to find some bargains to save money. I remember making sure everyone got the same amount spent on them and trying to find just the right little treasure for each person. I remember opening presents after church on Christmas Eve. I cannot remember what those gifts were. How illusive the world’s treasure is!

Jesus has told us to make sure our treasure is in heaven, to make sure that what is important is eternal, to make sure that what is precious to us is of God. Christ has told us that what we cherish must be spiritual, must last past the few years of our lives, and must live on in the souls of those we have served. Our spiritual footprints should help others who journey behind us to find the way to Christ. Then our treasure is forever safely kept by God.

There is an old Creole proverb that says, “Tell me who you love, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Jesus said your heart, all of who you are determines what you treasure. Jesus warns us, we cannot serve two masters. We will choose to give our hearts to the world’s temporary treasure or God’s eternal treasure.
While you ponder and wait this Advent be honest about who you love and what you love. Take the time of this season to store up that eternal treasure, that real treasure so rare and precious it cannot be bought. It can be found in unexpected places and unexpected people as we serve in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “your heart and your treasure will be in the same place.”

Reflection – What does my heart truly treasure?
Monica Boudreaux

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Words for the Journey

the holy books ...

No one can live only on food. People need every word God has spoken.

When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.

When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.

Don’t store up treasures on earth! Instead, store up your treasures in heaven.

Your heart will always be where your treasure is

Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself.

I tell you not to worry about your life. Can worry make you live longer?

Why do you have such little faith? Put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.

God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.

Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be open for you.

Treat others, as you want them to treat you.

You can tell what they are by what they do.

I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.

Anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will surely be rewarded.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.

Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts.

What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?

Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.

Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.

Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”

If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.

I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

Reflection – Choose one of these sayings of Christ to become your focus each day as you journey.

Monica Boudreaux

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Using All Your Strength

helpersI remember an old story about a little boy who was out helping dad with the yard work. Dad asked him to pick up the rocks in a certain area of the yard. Dad looked over and saw him struggling to pull up a huge rock buried in the dirt. The little boy struggled and struggled while Dad watched. Finally, the boy gave up and said, “I can’t do it.” Dad asked, “Did you use all of your strength?” The little boy looked hurt and said, “Yes, sir. I used every ounce of strength I have.” The father smiled and said, “No you didn’t. You didn’t ask me to help.” The father walked over and then the two of them pulled that big rock out of the dirt.

28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

—- Matthew 11:28-30

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St. Joseph

The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone (13...

Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture and that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.

We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). He wasn’t rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph’s genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as “son of David,” a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

As celebrate St. Joseph with feasting let also remember his commitment to our Savior.

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March 18–Day 12

Matthew 18:20-22

20For where two or tLenten Crosshree are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

21Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

 

A brother asked Abba Poemen: What does it mean to get angry at one’s brother without cause? And he replied: When your brother attacks you, whatever the insults are, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Even if he were to pull out your right eye, and to cut off your right hand, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Yet if he were to try to take you away from God, then get angry!

——- Abba Poemen

 


Prayer Starter — Lord help me to be a person of forgiveness.

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Sayings of the Master

Sermon On The Mount

Matthew 4:16-25

  • No one can live only on food. People need every word God has spoken.
  • When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.
  • When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
  • Don’t store up treasures on earth! Instead, store up your treasures in heaven.
  • Your heart will always be where your treasure is
  • Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself.
  • I tell you not to worry about your life. Can worry make you live longer?
  • Why do you have such little faith? Put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
  • God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.
  • Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be open for you.
  • Treat others, as you want them to treat you.
  • You can tell what they are by what they do.
  • I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.
  • Anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will surely be rewarded.
  • If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.
  • Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts.
  • What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?
  • Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.
  • Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.
  • Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”
  • If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.
  • I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

Reflection – Choose one of these sayings of Christ to become your focus each day as you journey.

Monica Boudreaux

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