Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do Not Worry

February 27, 2011
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time A

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. Isaiah 49:14-15

I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4:4-5

"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? Matthew 6:25-26

Worry can be a gift of God when it concerns what we are doing wrong and need to change in our lives. A God worry can get us motivated to do something about a bad situation. Worry is much to do about nothing when it concerns all the possible ways something can go wrong. Worry is honestly faced when we do all we can do to remedy a situation that is out of control. Worry creates the energy to act against a sea of troubles and by opposing them to end them. Our piety handles worry when we do what is possible and leave the rest to God. The cure for worry is confidence in the love of God for us. Our piety grows in our trust in God’s love for us. Our awareness of how well God takes care of the birds of the air, allows us to believe he will take care of us all the more. God knows all our needs. When our prayer puts words on our needs, the worries disappear in the confidence we have in how well God does things. The very groans of our heart become the voice of the Spirit interceding for us. God listening to the voice of the spirit within our souls responds to our needs with all that we need. There are three possible answers. The first is the immediacy of the gift of what we asked for. The second is the yes hidden in the not yet. God will give it when we most need it. And the Third is a gift so much better than what we asked for that we do not recognize what we receive as an answer to our prayer.

It behooves us to study the work of God that we may have confidence in and appreciate His guiding love. His creating hand is not only at work in the world around us. It works even more in the best of his creation. He has given us freedom. Of all His creations, we are the finest reflection of God’s love. We are able to love God freely without any force put on us. We look again and again at the tree of glory which is God’s greatest love for us and discover how best to respond to the carrying of the crosses in our lives. Worries are the looking at the future without the awareness of God’s saving love in his Son. We need to live in the present moment where God’s love is real in what we are able to do in the ‘now’ of God’s love for us. Worries are looks at the future without the awareness that we do not have tomorrow’s graces now. In the principle of divine economy God does not waste tomorrow’s graces on today. In God’s love for us, tomorrow will take care of tomorrow.

God sees our hearts. God tells us that the Lord will not forget us. He says it strongly with the simplicity of the statement that even if a mother would forget her son, God will never forget us. It is a mother’s love to which God compares himself. He is so much more than a mother’s love. It is in God alone that our souls can be at rest. God is the rock of our confidence that all will be well. He calls us to find refuge in him all the day. The approval addiction can drive one crazy because we can never do enough for anyone in our love. Love calls us to give our lives for the beloved. God gives us the example in the cross of his son that we might know the greatest human love possible where the mercy and love of God makes its strongest statement. We will never be able to understand the love of God any more than in how well we understand the cross of Christ that reveals God’s so great love for us. Our action is best seen in how well we carry our crosses of life. God sees our heats. Only God and we know what is on our hearts. We do not need to awake the fears of what others might think if we know we are doing our best. We drive out worries by our confidence in God’s love for us. God sees our hearts and responds.