Reading 1 (2 CORINTHIANS 11:18, 21-30)

A reading from the 2nd Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.
To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of
(I am speaking in foolishness)
I also dare.
Are they Hebrews?  So am I.
Are they children of Israel?  So am I.
Are they descendants of Abraham?  So am I.
Are they ministers of Christ?
(I am talking like an insane person).
I am still more, with far greater labors,
far more imprisonments, far worse beatings,
and numerous brushes with death.
Five times at the hands of the Jews
I received forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I passed a night and a day on the deep;
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers,
dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race,
dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city,
dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea,
dangers among false brothers;
in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights,
through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings,
through cold and exposure.
And apart from these things, there is 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?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7)

R. (see 18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Alleluia (MATTHEW 5:3)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 6:19-23)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: One of the best liturgical songs is Tanging Yaman. Composed by Philip Gan and Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, it speaks about the grandeur of God’s love, which is one’s only and lasting treasure. In the Gospel (Matthew 6:19-23), Jesus reminds us that despite having treasures in this world, there are also treasures in heaven. The earthly treasures are actually important because they provide for us our needs in life. But what Jesus is saying is that all of these will pass away at a proper time, and we must never forget to store with us treasures in heaven. What is this treasure in heaven? It actually refers to the spiritual awards it contains. One of them is eternal life. This is what we all want to attain after our life on earth. In the First Reading (2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30), St. Paul boasts of his weaknesses. His foolishness to suffer many trials and hardships reminds him of the endurance and loyalty he manifested in proclaiming and giving witness to the Good News of Christ. He reminds us that while mortals boast of the desires of the flesh like lure of power and money, we humbly accept Christ and live by his teachings and example while undergoing present trials. So we must store up another treasure, and that is the love of God. We must recognize this great love in the world that caused our Lord and Savior to offer his life on the Cross to redeem us from sin. This love continues to be proclaimed and given witness in our present time today. And that is the heart of all treasures in this world, for Paulo Cuelho, author of ‘The Alchemist,’ said: “For where your heart is, there you will also find your treasure.” So as we journey down this road, although we continue to hold on to earthly treasures, may we always seek the true treasure in our lives, especially the spiritual rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven as we continue to fulfill our mission in this world. Let us end this Reflection with the Chorus of the song mentioned earlier:
🎵 “Ikaw ang aking tanging yaman
na ‘di lubusang masumpungan.
Ang nilikha Mong kariktan,
sulyap ng ‘Yong kagandagan.” 🎵

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