Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Father Walter Schu, LC
Matthew 6: 24-34
Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. 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 can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry 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 clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this day, I trust in your unfailing providence. You are the deepest desire of my heart. In this moment of prayer, I want to please you alone. Even though I might be tired or uninspired, even though I might only experience dryness, may this be my prayer: I offer you all I am and all I have.
Petition: Lord, help me to trust more deeply in the loving providence of our heavenly Father.
1. Why Worry? What can be added to Christ’s beautiful images in the Gospel, urging us to trust in the loving providence of our heavenly Father? All that is necessary is to ponder how God feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field and to let the reality of his fatherly care for these ephemeral creatures sink deeply into our soul. How much more will he not care for us, the crowning work of his hand, his sons and daughters, for whom he is willing to send his only begotten Son to die on the Cross? Christ penetrates to the real cause of our worries and anxieties, our anxious concern that often overwhelms us in life: we have little faith. Little faith and even less trust in the goodness of our heavenly Father. Let us thank him for his patience and allow his fatherly goodness to penetrate to the depths of our spirit.
2. Stay Focused: Our worries and concerns about the material needs of our daily life make us lose sight of the one thing that is truly necessary: striving for holiness, for the establishment of Christ’s kingdom in our own lives and the lives of those around us. If only we would allow Christ to set our hearts on fire with the consuming passion of zeal for souls, how our lives would change! We would become driven by the mission, constantly urged on by it — and all of our former worries and anxieties would fade into insignificance. Then we, too, could exclaim with Christ, “I have come to light a fire on the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!” (Luke 12:49)
3. Simplicity of Heart: One virtue that helps us trust God more and grow in apostolic zeal is simplicity of heart. When you grow in simplicity of heart, you will never demand of God that he explain your vocation or your sufferings. Thanks to simplicity of heart, you will always see God’s holy will in everything, and everything, even pain, becomes wells and rivers of peace and joy. Thanks to simplicity of heart, you will be able to understand people and their misery and give them a helping hand. Thanks to simplicity of heart, you will never harbor hate, an evil wish, a grudge, or an evil thought in your heart. Everything brings you to God.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me through this prayer to grow in simplicity of heart, to recognize everything in my life as coming from your loving hand.
Resolution: I will renew my spirit of faith to see everything that happens to me today as part of God’s loving providence.