“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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel invites us to consider how we position ourselves before the Lord’s providence. It is not so much a condemnation of the capitalist economic system, which when lacking God indeed allows for money to replace God in our hearts, as much as an invitation to clarify our priorities.
Jesus exhorts us to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” This is our vocation as children of God. However, the reality and urgency of the concrete needs of our world, such as food and clothing, sometimes blur or even supersede that vocation. Then, providing for them becomes the only driver of our lives.
The search for the Kingdom is, on the contrary, a search for a fraternal and just coexistence, where we all can live as brethren and care for the needs of each other, and where nobody would need to worry about tomorrow.
How do I understand and live my trust in God’s Providence?
—Fernando Luis Barreto Mercado, SJ, is a member of the USA Central and Southern Province. He will be ordained a priest at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 28.
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
with the lyre make music to our God,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
provides rain for the earth,
makes grass sprout on the mountains,
Who gives animals their food
and young ravens what they cry for.
He takes no delight in the strength of horses,
no pleasure in the runner’s stride.
Rather the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
those who put their hope in his mercy.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!