In our Gospel reading for today, Jesus speaks to what is really important. He first says: “No one can serve two masters….You cannot serve God and mammon.” In other words, we cannot serve God and money or material things at the same time.
And then Jesus goes into a discourse about a proper perspective on things: “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Then Jesus uses the images of the birds in the sky and the wild flowers that grow in the field. Jesus also says, “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”
It’s very easy to worry about food and drink and clothing, especially when one is struggling to get something to eat. But I’m not sure that even in those situations that worry accomplishes anything. Just as Jesus says we cannot serve both God and money, we have to trust one or the other. When we trust in material wealth or worldly power, we get anxious about protecting what we have, or we find that whatever we have is never enough.
When we put our trust in God, we realize that all good comes from Him. We see that all is gift. And we become more willing to help those who are in great need of the necessities of life, and help them to trust in God. Jesus tells us that the Father knows what we need, but we need to seek first “the kingdom of God” and God’s “righteousness.”
May we trust in God who loves us, and choose to serve Him.
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P., is the local superior at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.