Monday, February 24, 2014

Eighth Sunday Ordinary Time Year A

Eighth Sunday Ordinary Time Year A
Readings: Is 49:14-15; 1 Cor 4:1-5; Mt 6:24-34

The Good news this Sunday is that God cares for us. So do not worry; trust and hope in God alone. The readings challenge us to stop worrying and become more trusting and hopeful. The prophet Isaiah reminds us of such a situation in his own time when he quotes the people saying, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” That is a language of worry, despair and hopelessness. In a world of too much worry about food, health and what to wear, it seems that even the worst fears of the prophet Isaiah have come true, that a mother in our cities today would abandon her own infant. The Lord through the prophet Isaiah is quick to remind the people that even though a mother may forget her baby, God will never forget them.

Jesus in the Gospel teaches his disciples that God cares for them more than all other creatures. “Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon …was clothed like one of them.” What Jesus is driving at in this passage is to persuade us to stop worrying so that we can “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”. God in turn will care for all our other needs. In the 1963 Award winning movie, “The Lilies of the Field”, starring Sydney Poitier, there is a scene in the beginning where the mother superior says to Homer Smith, “God is good He has sent me a big strong man to build the chapel.” When Homer Smith asks for his just wages, mother superior tries to tell him not to worry about money and quotes the Bible “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin.” (Mt. 6:28). Since God cares so much for his creation, He will certainly care for us. That kind of faith and trust in God has led many women and men down the centuries to accept the invitation of Jesus in today’s passage, to leave everything and follow Him. They freed themselves from worry and relied totally on God for their needs. One example that comes to mind is St. Francis of Assisi. He removed his clothes and walked away naked to underlines the point of detachment from possessions. We are called to radical trust in God: seeking first for the kingdom of God. Another example is Mother Teresa who always trusted in divine providence. “God will provide,” she used to say. That radical trust frees us from worrying too much about the means, in order to focus on being better disciples and stewards of time, talent and treasure that God has given us. So what message do we take home this Sunday? 1) The Good news is that God cares for us more that we realize. 2) Freeing ourselves from worry, will help us to focus on our mission and purpose. 3) Following the example of St. Francis of Assisi and Blessed Mother Teresa as models of seeking first for the kingdom of God, we place ourselves totally in God’s care for our needs. With God’s grace I can do that; you can do that too.

©2014 John S. Mbinda

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