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June 19, 2015

The good news for today

Jesus said to his disciples, “Store up treasures in heaven.”

When you and I were children, we probably thought like this: whatever I did good—the little self-denial here, the courage to tell the truth to teachers, the “goody-goody-ness” that marks the obedient child—was money in the bank that we would get back after we died.

It seems different now as you become adult. You realize that heaven is here—the undetected, other side of whatever you do good: You choose to smile back at someone. You share a moment of grief in silence. You keep your mouth shut when it is the right thing to do. You acknowledge your limits to yourself. You speak up to confront a public wrong going on. You deny yourself a put-down joke, but tease a put-down, sad person with a joke. You admit your prejudice—and, at the right moment, you tell someone else of hers. You share food. You visit someone imprisoned by illness, age—or failure. You do your job thoroughly whether the boss or colleague cares or not. You clean up afterwards. The thousand tiny graces of responsibility.

These are treasures–whose value only your Father knows. These are your treasures hidden from publicity, from your own pride and any need to feel success. Like a treasure guarded by a dragon, these quiet moments are guarded by a humility that shines to disguise and hide all good from applause for you.

The Good News is that these acts do get rewarded—intrinsically, calmly, and secretly. No one else knows—and you yourself forget and go on. Your treasure, though, is in heaven—your heart is in heaven—YOU are in heaven now. That is what heaven is! That is the Good News!

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