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Warning against worry

8th Sunday

What man or woman on earth does not have a worry or concern? A sick person is wondering why after lengthy medications, her back still aches and her throat is too painful and dry. A young man graduating from college is perplexed as to the next step he will take. Friends of a Filipino worker jailed abroad are concerned about his condition in that foreign hostile surrounding. A young husband is worried where to get money for his wife’s nearing childbirth.

Waking up every morning, we meet an avalanche of personal problems and the problems of the people close to our hearts. There is a Filipino saying that only the dead and the mentally ill are free from worries.

Jesus knows the complexities of human life. He is aware of the confusions in people’s minds and hearts. He was worried too, about the situations of others. His heart was troubled for the sick, the suffering and the poor. He too, shared in the human experience of disturbance and pain.

And yet in the Gospel we hear the powerful message of Jesus: do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…do not worry. Why not worry at all? Jesus tells us that the worry that paralyzes our lives is not proper to us. It is the mark of pagans, those who do not know the true God. The Christian must not worry, because he believes in God, he knows God and knows that God loves him.

God is not a mere Creator. Not a mere powerful Savior. He is first of all, Father. Our heavenly Father feeds the birds, clothes the flowers and knows our needs. Good human parents desire always to give what is best for their children. Just imagine parents at the time of school enrolment and school graduation. Imagine how they take care of everything even in the midst of great lack.

A Christian who knows that God is his Father will not worry but will be focus on the Kingdom of God: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given you besides. Jesus does not advocate laziness or indifference to the concerns of the world. He is telling us to first discover God in our lives. God has a plan, a dream for us – and all these are for our good.

Do not worry. The advice is also very practical. What can worrying do? It will not fix the past, nor affect the future. Worrying only disturbs the peace of mind and heart. If you allow worry to overwhelm you, then you magnify your own problems. Our God is bigger and more powerful than all our problems. Just do your best today. Live one day at a time and entrust everything to the Lord.

We have a very encouraging message today. God assures us that he is always here to guide us and lead, to help us in all our deep personal concerns. Is it sickness or emotional pain? Is it a problem in relationships? Is it money or job or some material grace you want to achieve? Do not worry. Learn to trust again and see God’s power flowing right into your life!