Saturday, June 22, 2013

Seek First

Seek First

Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
"A thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.  Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 COR 12:7b-9b
"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.”  Matthew 6:33-34


Father, help us to not avoid what we must do in order to seek first your Kingdom. 


Where do we seek "elation?"  Paul reminds us to focus on our weaknesses so that we may not boast. 
If we seek first the Kingdom, we will not be focused on dressing in the best" Buy-One-Get-Two-Free" Suits from Joseph A. Bank.  If we seek the Kingdom, we will not focus on replicating that great recipe from Paula Dean, Iron Chef or Bobby Flay.    If we seek first the Kingdom, then it will not matter if we have the lowest interest rate mortgage from Wells Fargo.
Seven days a week, we are drawn to these material pursuits by mavens and masters of the universe on Madison Avenue, at Hollywood and Vine, strolling down K Street in their Guccis or ringing the opening bell on Wall Street.  But the message we get on Sunday (and every day that we extend our study beyond the Sabbath) is to focus not on material goods but on what makes us weak and humble. 
By focusing on our lack of concentration, on our bad habits, on our self-doubt, we will be sure not to think that we are above others but that they are above us.  Our call is a call to fully rely on God because that is where our Declaration of Dependence rests.


If we focus on what we have, then we can become blind to the goodness around us and the needs of others.   Take some time to assess your daily routine.  In what ways does your "affluence" and "abundance" blind you to the needs of others?  Where do you see poverty in yourself or others?  What is the thorn in your side?  How can you better interact with it rather than with the merchants of our world?

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