The treasury is being part of a living community


“When you pray, go to your treasury/ταμεῖον, close/κλείω/celebrate the door/θύρα/, and pray to your Father in secret/κρυπτός/crypt. Your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

The key work is “treasury/ταμεῖον.” Treasury is not a place, but a value, an attitude, a way of being. The idea of this treasury shows itself when Jesus discusses pearls. “Do not store treasures on earth, where moth and meat/ βρῶσις destroy… Store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys…. Where your treasure is, there is your heart.”

Jesus builds to a crescendo, discussing how the eye is the lamp of the body. We cannot serve two masters, God, and the market, that meat which destroys. Jesus tells us what to worry about, and it is not the things of this cosmos/ordered world. “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own defect/ κακία.”

Stop judging, that you may not be judged. As you judge, so will you be judged.”

St. Luke takes up the theme, “Someone asked Jesus, ‘Tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.’ Jesus replied, ‘Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?’ Jesus is about separating us from our things, not deciding who goes with what. In this election season in Reno Nevada, we hear all the ads from all sides. The candidates are after votes. That is where their treasure is. They desire us to judge their case.

Jesus tells us how this world is “defect/κακία.” Jesus calls us to something more. After telling us to judge, Jesus tells us how we can judge a tree by its fruit, a contradiction. Jesus is talking about this defective world. Matthew 7:6 begins a new sub-section within the Sermon on the Mount. “Do not…throw your pearls before swine, or they trample them underfoot, turn, & tear/ῥήγνυμι you to pieces.” This sub-section ends at Matthew 8:34, “The demons pleaded, “Send us into the herd of swine…” They came entered the swine, the herd rushed down the steep bank and drowned.” The pigs mentioned in Matthew 7:6 do as Jesus says. They take what is valuable, and cast in underfoot, drowning in the sea.

Matthew 9:17, “No one sews an ragged holy patch with new cloth. Its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wine skins. The skins burst/ῥήγνυμι, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.” Matthew 7:6 uses ῥήγνυμι in reference to the pigs. ῥήγνυμι is mainly used in reference to storms, and there is the storm caused by a σεισμός/a seismic event, which threatens to tip over the boat Jesus is in. Catch, it is a “holy” ragged patch. We, the poor, are the “holy” ragged patch.

St. Matthew discusses the pearls in Matthew 13:45. “The kingdom of heaven is as a merchant searching for pearls… The angels will separate those who think themselves first/The Russia, from the charitable, the Tzaddic. He will throw the Russia into the furnace, where they will wail and grind their teeth.”

St. Matthew mentions this grinding of teeth in Matthew 8:12. Matthew 8:12 details just what the pearl is, and what Jesus wants from us. “Kyrie, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. I am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. I tell one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me.” He is very small part of a grander whole. The centurion is an intermediary who cares for his charges. “The messengers will drive the children of the kingdom who do not see themselves as part of the grander whole into the darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” These people think of themselves first. They trust in themselves, not God or the grander whole. They must guard what they acquire.

The Jewish Passover Seder reads, “Your son will ask, “What do these testimonies, customs, and correct judicial precedents which the Personal Name, our Almighty Judge, enjoined on you, mean? You will respond, “We were once menial labor of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Personal Name brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand… against Egypt… He brought us from there, to here, bringing us in, giving us the land he promised on oath our ancestors.”

Moses summoned all those who quarrel with God and told them, Hear, you who quarrel with God, the customs and correct judicial precedents I proclaim in your hearing, this day, to learn them and take care to guard them. The Personal Name, cut a Social Contract with us at Horeb; not with our ancestors did the Personal Name cut this Social Contract, but with us, each of us, alive, here, this day.”

The Jewish Passover Seder has four sons. The foolish one asks why “You” do these things. He is not a part of the community. The wise son asks why we do these things. He is a part of the community. ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” The treasury is being part of a living community reaching back centuries and to God.

Please feel free to check out my Liturgy of the Hours website.

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