What Do I Want?

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What are the desires of my heart? What do I treasure?  

These questions ask more of us than to say what we prefer, want, or need at an immediate level. They ask us to ponder the things we want to want, the desires we wish we had, the treasure we may not value as we should.  

When I ask myself what it is that my heart desires, I am always met with “things that show my weakness,” the things Paul chose to boast of in his enigmatic letter to the Corinthians. Paul’s inverted boasting echoes in the psalm where the Lord hears the lowly and the poor. When I look at my life and take stock of what it is that I treasure, I encounter my spiritual lowliness and poverty. I wonder if I am the just one whom the Lord rescues from distress. Do I seek justice to the point of distress? I doubt it. I know I am not Paul. The questions keep coming: Why do the just suffer distress? Why does justice require consolation?  

These questions all emerge from pondering what I desire and value. In the Gospel, Jesus unites them, teaching that “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” In other words, the answer to the question of what I value or treasure reveals where my heart is. This, in turn, reveals my desire for deeper conversion, a conversion of my own desire.  

© Liturgical Press.

Sam Rocha

Sam Rocha teaches at the University of British Columbia. For more, see his website: www.samrocha.com.

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