First Reading- Isaiah 49:14-15 Responsorial Psalm- 62 Second Reading- Corinthians 4:1-5 Gospel- Matthew 6:24-3
Believe, have faith, trust…all words of immense comfort and consolation in these unsettling times. These are the reminders we need to hear in this Sunday’s readings.
Both the first reading from Isaiah and the responsorial psalm encourage us to trust that God will never forget or abandon us. The bond with our Creator is compared to the bond between a mother and a child in the womb. It is hard to image a mother ever forgetting the child growing within…no greater connection to closeness can be described or demonstrated. Even before we were born, we were resting in the womb of creation free from all anxiety, undisturbed, and sheltered from all harm. Given the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty we experience in life, it is truly a consolation that we are invited to Rest in the Lord who is our rock, salvation, and stronghold.
In the reading from Corinthians, we are reminded by St. Paul of our collective calling to be trustworthy servants and stewards of Jesus’ mission and the mysteries of God. If we are faithful to this responsibility, we are likely to be confronted by criticism and judgment from others through our lifetimes for being Christ-centered in our actions- merciful, compassionate, seeking wholeness and healing, loving, forgiving… What Paul also reminds of is not to bear with these judgments and not be concerned about them. Instead, have confidence; for it is only God who will judge us and bring to light the motives of our hearts.
Finally, in this day’s Gospel, we are given multiple images of why we need not be filled with anxiety about our future. It is a challenge to live in the present by observing the natural world around us. In this Gospel, Jesus speaks to the assembled, the disciples, and us, using six examples of trusting and letting go of needless anxiety. While our human needs of food, clothing, and shelter are significant, Jesus calls us to consider “life itself” meaning the fullness of life, eternal life. We need not be consumed by fear, despair, or paralyzed by anxiety if we trust that we are all precious to our Creator. If we live in right relationship with the whole Earth we will be filled with the graces we need, not only to cope with the daily challenges of life but to find strength. If we fall victim to always worrying about tomorrow, we forfeit receiving the gift of today. All we need to remember is that we will never be forgotten or abandoned; we will always be cherished and cared for in the heart of God.
Sister Joan Agro, OP