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Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time. The reading is from Gospel of Matthew 6:25-34.

Dependence on God – Matthew 6:25-34

Therefore 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?

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?

So do not worry and say,

‘What are we to eat?’ or

‘What are we to drink?’ or

‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek.

Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

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.

This passage starts with the word “therefore.” So, to understand this passage, we need to understand the three things what Jesust has said before.

First, in Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus tells us that we are not to store up treasure on this earth for ourselves .

  • “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

Second, in Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus tells us to walk in the light and not in darkness.

  • “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”

Thirdly, in Matthew 6:24, Jesus tells us that one cannot serve two opposite masters. One cannot serve God and self (which is what money represents here) at the same time.

  • “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

There is contrast in these three passages. It is the contrast between an unbeliever and a believer.

  • An unbeliever gets his material security in what he stores up on this earth while a believer accumulates spiritual security in what he stores up in heaven by his good deeds.
  • An unbeliever walks in darkness while a believer walks in the light.
  • An unbeliever depends on self while a believer has God as his Lord and Master.

In this passage, Jesus does not deny the reality of human needs.

  • All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (Matthew 6:32)

He forbids making them the object of anxious care and, in effect, becoming their slave. In other words what Jesus is implying is that if we apply these principles, then we need not worry.

  • “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Matthew 6:34)

Then is worrying a sin?  Yes.  It is a sin because worrying is a denial of faith. But Jesus doesn’t call it a denial of faith; in Matthew 6:30, 8:36, he says, “O you of little faith.”

So to summarise, Jesus lays out the stark contrast between living a life of worry and living a life in total dependence on God. It is a choice between anxiety and faith, and between trust in ourselves and trust in God. The contrasts are stark because Jesus leaves no room for compromise. We can choose one or the other, but not both.

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