Joyce Ann Zimmerman, Kathleen Harmon, and Christopher W. Conlon: Do Not Worry

“We need to hear Jesus’ admonition, “do not worry,” and choose the right master: not ourselves, but God. Choosing to make God our Master and the center of our life increases our Life. Full and splendid Life is the consequence when we allow ourselves to trust in God, be dependent upon God, be mastered by God’s generosity and care. This is a kind Master, indeed. Why choose mammon with its incessant worries, when we can choose God who arrays us in all divine splendor.

Most of us don’t consciously choose ourselves as our master; we are much more subtle about it. We couch our mammon choice in thinking we are making ourselves and those around us better. The measure is our worrying. Obsessive worry about things, future plans, success, money, security, looks, etc., is a clue that we have chosen ourselves as master. It is a clue that we need to change the master we serve and choose instead the most compassionate, most generous, and most dependable Master: God …

Telling humans not to worry about tomorrow is like telling them not to be the center of their own lives. And that is exactly the point of the Gospel [Matthew 6:24-34]. The two masters are God or ourselves. Yes, we ourselves are the mammon. If we choose ourselves, we worry. If we choose God, we will feed on God’s generosity, be clothed in God’s gift of Life, and be made rich in faith. This choice is sufficient not only for a day, but for a whole lifetime …”
Joyce Ann Zimmerman, Kathleen Harmon, and Christopher W. Conlon in Living Liturgy Spirituality, Celebration, and Catechesis for Sundays and Solemnities: Year A – 2014 (Collegeville: OSB, 2013) 68-69.

Meditate on this Gospel passage today and ask yourself this question: What master am I serving?

“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.” Matthew 6:24-34

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