8th Sunday Ordinary Time
February 26, 2017
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
And all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow;
Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Mark Twain once said, “I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life, and most of them never happened.” How true this is for many of us. I love this quote! Most of us have lots of worries and concerns, often very valid ones. But Our Lord’s point in this Sunday’s beautiful reading from Matthew 6:24-34 is that most of us tend to worry about the wrong things.
One of my favorite saint quotes, one which I had on my dresser for many years, is from the Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena, who is a spiritual master and doctor of the church (a very good spiritual reading book!). She had conversations with our Lord, which she transcribed in this spiritual classic. In one of these exchanges Our Lord said to her, “Daughter, if you take care of my business, I will take care of your business.”
What do many of us tend to do? God often gets the leftovers because we have put other priorities ahead of him, which limits the blessings he wishes to give us. So many of us feel we don’t have time for prayer, yet we do make time for so many other pursuits, like TV or the internet, because we find them more enjoyable than spending time with Our Lord. Perhaps we feel we are too busy to pray; but when we do make that commitment, God multiplies the time in our lives and blesses us in unexpected ways.
Jesus was speaking to people 2000 years ago who also tended to be more concerned with food, clothing and housing than they were about God. Does this sound familiar? Is conversion a priority in my life? With Lent just around the corner, now is the time to ask ourselves what project God will want to be working on with us in the coming weeks. When we are faced with tough economic times, a job loss, a catastrophic illness or issues beyond our control, we naturally want to put our whole energy into solving the problem. But here Jesus gives us a real rule of life that we can count on: Seek my kingdom first, ask me first, place my concerns first and watch how I will multiply the blessings in your life.
We place God first by going to reconciliation; by praying not just praying when we feel like it; by planned giving; by making daily choices that are pleasing to God when we might prefer to sin! Making Our Lord’s priorities our own, and entrusting our worries to him with the simple phrase of “Jesus, I Trust in You” is one of the smartest moves we can ever make because Jesus is always faithful to his promises in the end.