8th Sunday in O T Year: A – 14
Is.49:14-15; 1 Cor.4: 1-5; Matt.6:24-34
Story: Two business executives meet for lunch. Gene asks Ed: “How’s your health?” Ed said, “I feel great! My ulcers are gone. I feel great!” Gene says, “How did that happen?” Ed said, “Well, you know my doctor told me my ulcers were caused from worrying. So, I hired myself a professional worrier. Whenever something worrisome comes up, I turn it over to him, and he does all my worrying for me!” Gene says, “Wow, I’d like to hire someone like that! How much does he charge?” Ed says, “One hundred thousand dollars!” Gene asked, “How in the world can you afford $100,000?” Ed says, “I don’t know. I let him worry about that!”
Today’s readings give us an invitation to avoid unnecessary worries by putting our trust in the love and providence of a merciful God. Most of us worry about too many things. What are you worried about this morning? Are you worried about Money, Job, Future, a personal problem, your marriage, Health, a problem with friends, a problem in the family, a problem in the school or work place?
Whatever it is, worry seems to be an epidemic in the world today. Many experts say that coping with stress is one of the health priorities of our day. But we have to know that less than one “problem” in every ten that we worry about is a real concern. All the others are things that we can learn to see differently or eliminate. God does not wish for us to spend our days worrying.
Today’s first reading is one of the most touching expressions of God’s love in the Bible. Through the Prophet Isaiah, the Lord God asks the rhetorical question: “Can a mother forget her infant?” and gives His solemn pledge “I will never forget you!”
Today’s responsorial psalm also invites us to hope and rest in the strength and providence of a loving God. In the second reading, St. Paul asserts his authority as an Apostle and warns the Corinthians not to worry about who brought them to the Christian faith and not to judge him or other preachers. It is only God who has the right to judge.
In the first part of today’s Gospel, Jesus emphasizes the impossibility of serving two opposing masters, namely God and riches. Man’s ultimate goal and Master is God and not material possessions.
Worrying about the future hampers your efforts today. Worrying is more harmful than helpful. God does not ignore those who depend on him. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of war, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you can attend church meetings without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion in the world.
Worrying shows a lack of faith and understanding of god. When it comes to faith, conquering our worrying, we need to have a child-like faith. A child does not worry all day long whether his house will be there when he gets home from school, or whether his parents will have made dinner. In the same way, Christians should trust God to supply what is best for us. We need to refocus our faith.
Living one day at a time (Remember the beautiful song “One day at a time”) keeps us from being consumed with worry. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. It does no good to worry about tomorrow. We may not have a tomorrow. If you are worrying about the problems of tomorrow, you will miss out on the blessings of today. So let us restrict our thoughts.
Jesus faced many challenges, but never let anxiety get the better of him. He simply put everything into his Father’s hands. We can do the same. Take a minute right now to identify the situations that trouble you the most. Then hand them over to the One who can handle them perfectly.
Jesus exhorts his disciples to avoid unnecessary worries. Worry is a pagan or an irreligious attitude of those who don’t believe in a loving and providing God.
We need to avoid worry: a) By trusting in the providing care of a loving God. b) By acquiring the art of living one day at a time in God’s presence. c) By seeking God’s kingdom, doing His will every day and living a righteous life, serving others as best as we can.
Today, Jesus reminds us who follow Him that we are more important than flowers, than the grass, than swallows. His promise to us is that He will take care of us even more than He does of the plants and birds.
This teaching of Jesus reminds us that we are called to a distinct way of life, not a worldly way but a spiritual way. We are called to trust in God who knows what we need and to believe that God will give it to us. Blessed is he who places his trust in the Lord Jesus!
This week my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray for each other, that we may receive the gift of faith that is necessary to trust in Divine Providence so we may not worry about tomorrow. Amen.