FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Saturday June 23, 2018
Week Eleven of Ordinary Time
WORD of the DAY
Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 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. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. (Mt 6: 26-30/ 33-34)
How shall I live this Word?
Meditating on the beautiful passage of today’s Gospel, I said to myself that we should read it more often, especially in times of trouble and discouragement, when we may struggle to get to sleep and resort to sleeping pills and tranquilizers! The basic message that Jesus offers to all of us “people of little faith” is fundamental, and tells us that we are not alone and orphans, thrown into this world by chance, but that there is a Father-Abba who takes care of us and does not let us lack what is needed: ”If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?“.
There is a verb that crosses the whole passage of this Gospel: “to worry” (merimnàn), which is not only to worry, to work, but to live in anxiety and anguish. It is a way of life that manifests a wrong relationship with things, with life, and with God. The error lies not in looking for food, clothes, and basic goods, but in overestimating them, believing that they are the only ones to solve the problems of life and that give security and serenity to life. Jesus relies on trust in the Father. Anxiety is a way of life that is not proper for the disciple and betrays the lack of trust and filial abandonment of people of little faith.
One who welcomed and lived fully the meaning of this Gospel passage throughout his life was the holy Pope John XXIII. The text below, can be had via the Internet, by clicking on “Decalogue of Pope John”: I leave it in its entirety to meditation and especially to the imitation of each one in our lives.
The Voice of Pope John XXIII Decalogue
Only for today will I firmly believe, despite the contrary appearances, that God’s good Providence deals with me as if no one else existed in the world “.
“In a particular way I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness”.
“I can well do, for twelve hours, what would scare me if I thought I had to do it all my life”.
And it ends precisely with the quotation from the last verse of our Gospel passage: “Sufficient for the day is its own evil” (Mt 6:34).
Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Fr. Ferdinando Bergamelli, SDB