Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6,24-34
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Focus. Fear. Faith
1 Focus- Today we encountered Jeremiah the Prophet who right from the very beginning lost his focus. God called him to speak against sins but he felt he was too young and so was overwhelmed with the enormous task of speaking for God. These are two sides of the same coin here which cause fear. Either looking at and focusing on our littleness in our little strength or the bigness of the adversary. Both are mistakes. Like Jeremiah we can allow our littleness, our inadequacy for the task to paralyze us and make us worry and so hesitate and doubt everything and most of all ourselves and so we lose confidence in our ability.
2 Fear- Focusing on the problem and the challenges we face and the power of the opposition can easily lead us to be consumed by fear. I think our current social unrest and the threat of the virus have caused many to either to lose focus in looking at their vulnerability or by focusing on the complexity of the problem and so lead us to see our own powerlessness and inadequacy and be overwhelmed by the task.
3 Faith- In the first reading however Jeremiah makes a monumental shift and he says in the midst of the terrors all around him and his enemies trying to trap him, … But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion… This is a game changer. Instead of focusing on his littleness or the bigness of his challenges he chooses to focus on the Lord of his faith, which is bigger than both. Faith in fact is the opposite of fear as perfect love casts out all fear. This is why Jesus says fear no one. He explains that fear innocence is relative -that we should not fear those who can kill the body only if we are to fear anyone it should be he who can kill the soul. We are called to trust in Him who is all powerful, all knowing, and is in control of all that is. This faith gives us a freedom to walk without fear. If we are afraid to die, and are paralyzed by this thought, we will always be anxious and easily manipulated as he who fears anything gives it power over them. The truth is we are immortal and will live forever, the question is where we will spend all of eternity. Harry Emerson Fosdick says this is beautiful comparison, he says fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable. Let us today be free and fearless through faith and trust in the God who loves us.
May God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.
Always remember heaven is our goal