Saturday of the 11th Week of the Year

Matt 6: 24-34

Dependence on God

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Somebody told me: “Why pray when you can worry?” Is this not much easier than praying and not getting anything really in return? Will God release us from materialistic preoccupations? The gospel text teaches us that basic human needs, eating, drinking, clothing can lead us to reflect on the limits of human existence. real necessities and true values of life need to be rooted in faith in the providence of God. Being anxious is being preoccupied or absorbed by these basic human needs to the neglect of the Divine Providence, a key value in our faith. when we pray then it does not mean that our anxiety is being lifted to God so that he may understand our situation. God will not release us from materialistic preoccupations but he can change our perspective of human existence. (Fr. Bong Bongayan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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I come from a poor family and I know what it means to be poor.

Imagine a family of 10 brood with my parents’ meagre earnings as government employees and all of us were studying from nursery to college! Three of us boys were then studying in the seminary. There was even a time when we were sent home by school authorities to remind our parents of their financial obligations. Quite sarcastically, a friend of my mother who had seen how difficult it was for them to support us in the seminary, commented: “Why did you still send the third boy (referring to me) to the seminary?” Silenced at first by the question, my mother, afterwards convincingly replied: “God will provide!”

If my mother’s answer was not a response of a believer, I would not know what it means to have faith in God! In today’s gospel, one value is outstanding, that is, faith. faith, put in a complete sentence, is “God will provide.” My life story in the seminary has been a story of a generous God.

The generosity of God is so real but it does not pamper. His generosity teaches not only unwavering faith but also enormous hard work on my part. The old yet penetrating words of wisdom capture it, “act as if everything depends on you and pray as if everything depends on God.”

Indeed St. Paul today is right in saying that in our weakness there our strength thrives also. In our experience of poverty, there our hearts could truly trust and simply say: “I have done my part, God will provide.” (Frt. Aris P. Martin, SVD Bible Dairry 2007)

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I once attended a dinner hosted by a group of young professionals. Across the table, during our casual conversation, a lady in her early 30s asked me a very thought-provoking questions, “Father, why is it that people are forcing me into getting married? Every time I meet an old friend, a family member or even a relative, the always ask, ‘Bakit hindi ka pa nagaasawa? Are you planning to enter the convent?’ Do I really have to enter the convent if I choose to remain single? It seems to me that they are getting worried about me choosing to remain single. Is it a crime if i choose to live this kind of life?”

Whether we like it or not, our culturally especially in rural areas worries a lot for individuals deciding to stay single. The fear the single persons might have no one to take care of them in old age. Sometimes it is really hard to live in a culture where marriage seems to be one’s destiny, unless one chooses to become a priest or enter a convent. It seems that the pressure of having a family dictates the mentality of many.

In today’s gospel, Jesus is telling us not to worry about life. He also assures us not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Why miss the details of the resent moment by being anxious of what will happen tomorrow? Jesus wants us to live the beauty of today. He has his own plan of each one of us. We might not know it now but certainly through the course of time His plan will be gradually revealed. (Fr. Roger Solis, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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June 18, 2016 Saturday

More Than Many Sparrows, a book by Father Leo Trese, 1958. Lilies of the Field, a 1963 movie starring Sidney Poiter, Best Actor at the Oscars that year. I rst read and saw them in 1963 when, as a high school graduate, I entered Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City. By the grace of God I am now just over forty years in the SVD missionary priesthood, living in the same place, reflecting on the Gospel text from where both Leo Trese and the lm took their titles. This is Providence: God’s hand guiding me to consider certain things at certain points in my life.

Gratitude immediately comes to mind and heart. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of life, family, and friendship. For the gift of education and vocation. For your constant love despite my many and repeated sins/ failures. Thank You for your blessings. Let my gratitude spill into faith and hope – that even when skies are gray and days are lonely, in the darkest of my nights when I feel abandoned and alone, You are still there, loving me, providing for me. Help me convert my gratitude into graciousness that I share with others in what I do, in who I am.

While I must look to the future and plan for it, teach me to live Today. Now is when You come.

Here is where You are. As poet R.S. Thomas says, “Life is not hurrying on to a receding future, nor hankering after an imagined past. It is the turning aside like Moses to the miracle of the lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as transitory as your youth once, but is the eternity that awaits you.”

Thank you for loving me More Than Many Sparrows. For clothing me even better than you do the Lilies of the Field. (Fr. Roderick C. Salazar, SVD CKMS, QC Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/708-june-18-2016-saturday

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We started the week with a gospel parable about farmer who goes to bed and gets up day after day while the seed he planted grows by itself. The main lesson was about the growth of the kingdom of God. However, we can also see in the farmer an example of trusting in God. He does not waste time worrying about the growth of the seed. It would do no good in any case.

We conclude the week pondering Jesus’ clear and powerful teaching on trust in the providence of God. He gives us a strong warning: stop worrying! Worry is a symptom of a deeper problem, lack of trust in God, or weakness of faith. When we give in to worry, we implicitly suspect that God’s plans for us might not be good enough. We feel fear that things might not work out right, so we try to figure out ahead of time what we should do if things go wrong – when God fails us. We try to control everything, so that God’s mistakes will not disrupt our plans….. it sounds absurd, but that is because worrying is absurd for a Christian. Who can take better care of us than our Father in heaven?

Jesus mentions some typical subjects of our worry: money, work, food, clothing. We still tend to worry about these things. But in modern times, people worry more than ever before. The “information age” has produced an age of anxiety. Not people worry about everything they hear on the news – oil prices, food shortages, taxes, terrorism, climate change….. what does all this worrying accomplish? Nothing!

The Lord points to simple examples from the world of nature. Look at the birds in the sky. Look at the wild flowers. If the Father provides for them so beautifully, “will he not provide much more for you, o weak in faith?” Of course he will! Jesus is not telling us not to live like unbelievers, who “are always running after these things.” We have a Father in heaven who knows all that we need, so we have a basis for refusing to give in to useless anxiety.

The roots of worry can find their way into our hearts almost unnoticed when we begin to seek security in anything other than God, thus creating an interior division in ourselves. Jesus calls this the problem of trying to “serve two masters.” It is impossible to find peace with a divided heart. We cannot give ourselves to both God and money. The part of us that trusts in God is secure, but the part of us that is relying on money is not, and worry begins to fill the gaps and eventually takes over our whole inner life. There is nothing wrong with money. Jesus’ point is that money makes a very poor substitute for God.

King Joash in the first reading chooses another poor substitute for God: not money, but human respect. After his wise defender and guide, the priest Jehoiada, dies, Joash allows himself to be swayed by the princes. No doubt he had begun to worry about his security as king. He probably started by trying to “serve two masters,” remaining faithful to the Lord while also appeasing the princes. But that never works. In the end, rather than trust in the Lord who has always been faithful to him, Joash puts his trust in the support of the princes and the people. His courage is weak because his faith is weak. Ignoring the warnings of the prophets, eventually he even orders the death of Zechariah, a true man of God who has the courage to speak the truth to the king. The result of Joash’s infidelity is his downfall at the hands of a weak  army of Arameans.

We cannot solutions to our problems, personal or political, by relying on merely human means. The antidote to worry is prayer – not simply the words of prayer but the prayer of the heart, where we make the firm inner decision to accept the will of God in faith. We make faith decisions as we grow in trust that the Father already knows all that we need. When we seek first his kingship over us, we discover that everything else we need is being provided for us. “Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow!” The Father will care for us tomorrow, just as he cares for us today.

In what ways do I serve two masters? What do I tend to worry about? Do I trust God, my Father? How can I grow in trust? Do I pray for greater trust in God? (Pondering the Word the Anawim Way May 27, 2012 to July 7, 2012 – Cycle B Year 2 – June 23, 2012 pp.157-159).

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“OH, THE THINGS WE WORRY ABOUT!”

MATTHEW 6:25-33

NOVEMBER 22, 2009

This coming Thursday may be my favorite day of the year.  We, hopefully, will be spending it with my sister and her family in Centennial, Colorado.  For years, we have taken turns making the trip to Denver, or my sister’s family to Omaha, to celebrate Thanksgiving.  This year it’s our turn to head to Denver, and weather permitting we will leave Wednesday afternoon and return on Saturday ready for the first Sunday in Advent, which happens to be next Sunday.

I love Thanksgiving Day.  The food.  The football.  The time with family, and I pray you will have a blessed day as well.  Some of us will gather with those we love.  Some of us will gather at a table this year with an empty chair where a loved one should be, but is not.  Some of us may not gather at a table at all.  We will be spending the day by ourselves, but no matter where and how we gather on Thursday, I predict that in the midst of our Thanksgiving observance, someone will worry.  Children will worry that their favorite pie may be in short supply and they will have to eat grandma’s mincemeat pie!   Football fans will worry about whether the TV will be on and tuned to the game.  Serious shoppers will worry about getting to bed on time so they can get an early start on Black Friday.  The bulk of the worrying, however, will be done by those preparing the Thanksgiving meal.  They will worry about the turkey being moist, and the potatoes being lumpy, and where to seat Aunt Bertha.  They want the day to be perfect, so they fret.

And maybe they have a reason to fret and worry, because each of us can recall at least one Thanksgiving disaster, the turkey taking too long to cook or family members squabbling.  I remember hearing about the woman who made pumpkin pie and then set it on the shelf to cool.  When she went to serve it, she noticed the cat had swiped it’s paw across the top of the pie for a taste, but because it was the only pumpkin pie she had, and you can’t have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, she smoothed the surface of the pie and served it anyway.

Late that evening, when all the guests had gone home, she went out to the garage and found the family cat lying dead on the garage floor.  Assuming the worst – that the cat had somehow been poisoned by the pie – she called each of her guests and admitted what she had done.  The next morning there was a knock at the door, and there stood a neighbor.  She said, “Say, I didn’t want to disturb you last evening when you had dinner guests, but your cat was hit by a car, so I just laid him on the garage floor for you.  Have you found him yet?”

We each have had our Thanksgiving disasters, so some of us this Thursday will fret and worry.  But we will not only worry on Thursday.  Of all the living things God created, human beings seem to be the only ones that worry.  And we worry about everything – gas prices, the stock market, health, taxes, jobs, marriages, parents, children.  You name it and somebody is worrying about it.

In our text, however, Jesus says not to worry.  As usual, what he says makes sense.  We do worry too much, especially those of us in an affluent society who seem to have less to worry about than so many others in the world.  And the result is a spate of problems we constantly bring on ourselves.

For example fifty percent more people die from ulcers than murder, and in a book titled Stop Worrying and Get Well[1][1] the author called attention to the fact that worry causes heart trouble, high blood pressure, some forms of asthma, rheumatism, colds, migraine headaches, and a host of stomach disorders.  The pressures of modern life, and the worries those pressures bring, have a devastating effect on us.  Billions upon billions of dollars are expended every year in treating diseases, both mental and physical, brought on my anxiety and worry.  And we can’t say for sure, but thousands likely go into eternity every year because they have literally, “worried themselves to death.”

And some of us have attained a PhD in worry.  The British-born actor David Niven certainly did.  He was a worrier and a nail-biter, and once he received a postcard written by his friend, Noel Coward, who was traveling in Italy.  The card showed a picture of Venus de Milo and said, “You see what will happen if you keep on biting your nails!”

This problem, however, is not unique to us.  The crowd that sat listening to Jesus on that Galilean hillside must have had a similar problem or Jesus would not have addressed it, and he addresses three specific worries.

First, he addresses worries about the necessities of life.  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink …”  Then he addresses issues about the quality of life – “or about what your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing”  Finally, he addresses worries about the length of life – “And can anyone one of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”  Those three things, the necessities of life, the length of life, the quality of life are all things we tend to worry about, and according to Jesus these three things are not worthy of worry.   According to Jesus worry is irreverent, irrelevant, and irresponsible.  It’s irreverent because it fails to recognize the God who gives and sustains life, it is irrelevant because it does not change things, and it is irresponsible because worry burns up needless psychic energy.

Of course, if you are anything like me, you may be thinking, “Really Jesus?  Really?”  By that I mean, we can all point to times when birds did not get enough to eat and times when lilies did not bloom and blossom.  Droughts and other catastrophes cut short the lives of both birds and flowers as well as humans who trust in God, so was Jesus being a little Pollyannish here?  Is he wearing rose-colored glasses?  Well, let me say a couple of things about that.

First, we need to remember the original context.  Jesus’ closest disciples had abandoned their vocations in order to be with him full-time.  They were to learn from him, and share his work in announcing the Kingdom of God.  As a result, they became as dependent upon God’s providential care as the birds and the flowers.  So, this part of the Sermon of the Mount was directed as much to his disciples as to the crowd.  Jesus was saying to Peter, James, John and the rest, “Don’t worry about these everyday issues.  Have faith in me.  Have faith in God.  Your needs will be met.”

Second, we need to read Jesus’ words here more as poetry than prose.  By that I mean, of all the passages in the Bible about trust in God, this is probably the most beloved.  Jesus’ words here move us much more than Paul’s straightforward advice in Philippians 4:6, even though they address the same subjects: worry and trust.  Remember Paul’s words?  “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Compare that to Jesus’ word pictures, “Consider the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.”  That’s poetic language and poetic logic is very different than prosaic logic.  In poetic logic it is irrelevant that some birds starve and some lilies fail to mature.  The poetic picture Jesus paints draws our attention to a calmer vision of God’s bountiful care in the natural world.  That is what is important.  Because God cares for us, because God is looking out for us, because we are not alone in life, we can relax and not worry.

Of course, it takes a leap of faith not to worry about tomorrow, and that’s our problem.   In fact, Jesus sums up the problem of worry in one little phrase: “you of little faith.”  Listen to his words once again, “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?”  That’s the nub of the issue, a lack of faith and I think that’s what he is driving at here. He’s not saying we should not be concerned about tomorrow or plan for tomorrow.  He’s not saying that we should be totally unconcerned about what kind of life we and our families have.  He just does not want us to come to the place where we begin to think that we are in this all by ourselves.  He wants to remind us that whatever we face God cares about us, our struggles, and that God will be with us.  God cares for birds and flowers and God really cares about us, and for that we can be greatly thankful.  

The original Pilgrims understood that more than most.  You remember the story.  In 1620 a boatload of 110 people left Holland for the New World and freedom.  Forty-four of them were religious, so they were referred to as the “saints.”  The other sixty-six were not religious at all, so they were called the “strangers,” and together these saints and strangers made the difficult sixty-five day voyage across the Atlantic, and only one of them died en route.

Once they arrived in the New World, however, living proved to be more difficult than the trip across the Atlantic.  The first winter was hard, the snow was heavy, and by the time spring arrived, more than sixty of their number had died.  Over the next few months, through their own perseverance, along with friendship from the Native Americans, their crops flourished, and they were able to store enough food for the coming winter.  In mid-October of 1621, Governor William Bradford called for a day of thanksgiving to be shared with the Native Americans.  For three days they sang and celebrated and thanked God for the blessings they had received.

Imagine that!  After a rugged, two month trip, and a brutal winter that killed half their group, they celebrated and thanked God for their blessings.  And the next year, when the harvest wasn’t nearly so plentiful, and they had to share their short supply of food with newly arriving Pilgrims, they thanked God again.  And the third year, when the sun and drought scorched their crops, they gathered the community on November 29, 1623 for another day of thanksgiving and praise.

You see, Thanksgiving has never been about wealth or health or comfort or prosperity.  It has always been about thanking God for being there, for seeing us through the good times and the bad times.  Though the Pilgrims had difficult lives, they never lost sight of the God who loved them and traveled with them to a new land.  They never worried about God’s caring for them.  They knew they were more important to God than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field.

Let me tell you about a contemporary of the Pilgrims.  He was a Lutheran pastor in Germany.  His name was Martin Rinkart.  As the only pastor of Eilenburg, Germany, Rinkart conducted 4,500 funerals in one year, 1637, the result of famine, pestilence and the Thirty Years War.  Sometimes he officiated at the burials of fifty people in a single day.  One of the people he buried was his own wife.  So, in light of all this hardship, what was the only hymn that Pastor Martin Rinkart ever had published?  This is the first stanza:

Now we thank all our God,    

with heart and hands and voices.       

Who wondrous things has done,        

in whom this world rejoices;  

who from our mothers’ arms 

has blessed us on our way      

with countless gifts of love,     

and still is ours today.[2][2]

I hope this Thursday when we sit at the Thanksgiving table that we will remember this:  Don’t worry. Don’t ever worry about God’s care for you!  The God of creation will never leave you.  And that’s a promise.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

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One Bread, One Body – Reflection for June 20, 2015

THE LORD OF LIFESTYLE

“Stop worrying, then, over questions like, ‘What are we to eat, or what are we to drink, or what are we to wear?’ The unbelievers are always running after these things.” –Matthew 6:31-32

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us that we cannot serve two masters (Mt 6:24). He means we cannot give ourselves to God and money (Mt 6:24). In saying “giving ourselves to money,” Jesus means “worrying about our livelihood.” We are not to worry about what we are to eat, drink, or wear (Mt 6:25). If we do, Jesus accuses us of having weak faith and acting like unbelievers (Mt 6:30-32).

In a society preoccupied with a pleasure-seeking lifestyle, Jesus’ words are very threatening. We are continually thinking of creature comforts and petty pleasures. The average American has the most affluent lifestyle in the world. We have worked for years to get what we have. Now Jesus tells us we have been wrong.

Since we are “blinded by the god of the present age,” the god of lifestyle (2 Cor 4:4), we find it difficult to take seriously Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (see Lk 16:14-15). We are like the rich man’s brothers who would not have opened their eyes and changed their lifestyle even if the beggar Lazarus had been raised from the dead (Lk 16:31). We need a miracle. We need the Spirit to convict us of our sins (Jn 16:8) and crucify us to the world (Gal 6:14). Ask the Spirit to do this.

PRAYER: Father, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, free me from my cultural blind spots.

PROMISE: “My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection.” –2 Cor 12:9

PRAISE: Joan has worked full time for the Lord for over thirty years – without salary or welfare. Jesus has provided for all of her needs.

http://www.mycatholic.com/reflections/2015-171.html

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SATURDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 6:24-34. SAYOP BA ANG MABALAKA? Dili. Normal lamang sa usa ka tawo nga mobati’g kabalaka. Apan, adunay mga tawo nga hilabihan ka mabalak-on, ug kini ang dili maayo. Ang kabalaka dili makasulbad sa problema; makadugang hinuon niini. Adunay nag-ingon, “Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.” Diha sa ebanghelyo, si Hesus nagtudlo nga dili kita angay’ng maguol sa kanunay tungod kay dili man kita pasagdan sa Dios. Kon giatiman niya ang mga langgam sa kahanginan ug ang mga sagbot sa yuta, unsa pa kaha kita nga Iyang mga anak. Busa, sa atong pagpangitag kasulbaran sa mga suliran, mosalig usab kita sa Diosnong panabang. Matod pa sa usa ka magsusulat, “When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/06/saturday-of-11th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for June 20, Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:24-34 Reflection: What does Jesus mean when He said that we need not worry for God will provide? Is He telling us to simply lie down and we don’t do anything? Of course not! Yes Jesus is telling us in the gospel that we should learn to trust in God. But Jesus did not tell us to be lazy and just open our mouths because food will simply fall down from heaven.

What we need to do is we have to have faith and trust in Jesus. Yet we also have to move and do something and in the process expect the good Lord to bless our efforts. So its trusting Jesus and we reinforce our trust by our action and then we leave it up all to the graciousness of the good Lord.

What makes a meaningful life in this world? It’s a life focused first on God not a life focused first on this world. When we fix first our attention on God we are properly guided as we go on and live our lives in this world. We are not easily tempted to do wrong for the very reason that God is our priority.

If God is at the front seat we have nothing to worry for we will be able to handle whatever trials that may come our way. We will certainly survive it splendidly for the very reason that Jesus occupies the front seat of our lives.

Whom do you seek first in your life right now? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/06/reflection-for-june-20-saturday-of.html

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Reflection for June 18, Saturday of the Eleventh Week in OT; Matthew 6:24-34

Reflection: There was a man who literally wanted to test God’s providence, so he said to God: “God I will go to a remote mountain. I will be wandering there for a month and I will bring nothing with me except what I’m wearing.

On the first week he sustained himself with fruits that were within his reach. Then on the second week he accidentally stumbled on a small community of tribesmen. Once they saw him they wondered why he was different from them. They said to themselves this man must be God sent, so they treated him like a king and in return he taught them a lot of things that could be useful to them.

After a month he bade them goodbye, he was now fully convinced of God’s eternal providence.

In the gospel Jesus said to his disciples: “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 (Matthew 6:30-32).”

The secret to a happy and fulfilled life is to serve God in whatever capacity and abandon our lives to His providence, he will provide for us for so long as we trust him our lives. Let us not be worried let us not be afraid.

Jesus himself said this: “Do not be troubled; trust in God and trust in me.” (John 14:1) – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/06/reflection-for-june-18-saturday-of.html

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UNFAILING – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear.” – Matthew 6:25        

George Muller runs a three-story orphanage building. He echoes three things that God promised these orphans: warm beds, clean clothes and hot meals.

One noon, with nothing to feed the children with, he asked, “Children, have you had your hot meal today?” They said, “No.”

“Well,” Muller continued, “there isn’t any food in the orphanage. So let’s thank God for the food He is going to provide.” George bowed his head, “Lord, thank You for the hot meal that you will set before us now. Amen.”

Then a knock came at the door. Someone who looked like a driver said to him, “My truck has just broken down on the road not far from here. It’s filled with meat pies for delivery.

I don’t think these pies will make it to its original destination. It’s a shame to let them go to waste. They’re still hot. Would you like them?”

Muller replied, “Truly, the Lord does not let the righteous go hungry.” The driver didn’t quite get what he meant, but the kids did.

Friend, God hasn’t failed anyone, and He is unwilling to make you the first yet. Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)

Reflection: Whatever bothers you today, you can entrust them all to God.

Lord, I did everything I had to do. I trust that You’ll do Your part. I surrender all to You.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-06-20

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THIS PRESENT MOMENT – Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. – Matthew 6:34

You have just received your paycheck. But instead of excitement, you feel dread because of the many bills you have to pay.

An entire day has passed without you and your partner arguing, but instead of feeling blessed, you are wary because there is no way that this peace will last long.

Your sister treated you to lunch, but instead of being grateful, you wonder what she wants from you.

We worry too much. We think about tomorrow too much.

What if I don’t eat tomorrow? What if I don’t have enough money to pay my bills tomorrow? What if tomorrow we break up? These questions always cross our minds.

But I realized that worrying dishonors God, because it means that we don’t trust Him enough. As the God of Order, He orchestrates every event in our lives to give us a most blessed life. As the God of Faithfulness, He promises that we will never have to worry about anything.

Let us enjoy every present moment and let tomorrow take care of itself.Karren Renz Seña (karren.s@shepherdsvoice.com.ph)

Reflection: When was the last time you truly enjoyed the present moment? This moment is a gift from God. Thank Him for it.

Lord, I pray that I may be able to enjoy the present moment and trust that You will take care of all my tomorrows.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-06-18

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Saturday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time

2 Chr 24: 17-25; Mt 6: 24-34

Serve Only One Master

If we want to reach the top of anything, we need to have undivided attention. Half-heartedness will not reach us anywhere: we will be half here and half there.  

Jesus articulates this with the following words, “No one can be a slave of two masters”. Here the two masters are, God and Mammon (wealth). If one wants to lead a life in God and for God and for all the people through God, one will have to renounce the desire for mammon, that is wealth and all that wealth brings: power, pleasure and possession. Everybody has to make this choice in one’s life. We all have to make this choice for God and not for Mammon. Accept God as our Master.

The human experience shows that one has to be extremely cautious in handling Mammon. Mammon is powerful to make and break us. Tame Mammon as our servant, don’t let him be Master. The problem occurs when Mammon becomes our Master. As a servant he will be useful, who can do much good to us as well as to the world. But as Master, he will be destructive.

Think of, hence, how we are using the resources (Mammon) we have at our disposal. Do we use them for our own comforts only? Or are we using them for the good of greater number of people? Do we use Mammon for the glory of God, or for our own glory? Do we use things as if they belong to us, or as if they belong to God? How do we try to acquire Mammon (power and possessions) in our life? Do we acquire them through just and fair means, or do we apply foul means?

Another lesson to learn is, Mammon never satisfies us. The more we have it, the more of it we would like to have. And we like to hide it from others for fear of being stolen. It is like intoxication. It makes us more thirsty, a kind of thirst that never quenches and fearful. God alone can satisfy us, for one who possesses God, possesses everything. The nearer we come to God, the nearer we come to everyone. The more we drink of the living water from God, the happier we become, and the richer we make others.

We can never make others happy by sharing our Mammon, because they will want more of it, which we cannot give.

We can make others feel joyful by sharing with them the Spirit we possess. Dr. Jacob Marangattu CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-06-18

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June 18, 2016

REFLECTION: The dictionaries tell us that our English word worry comes from the German wurgen, which means: to choke. In this connection we are reminded of Jesus’ parable of the Sower, in which he tells us that the seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety (i.e. worry) chokes the word and it bears no fruit (Mt 13:22).

That is the problem about worry: it chokes not only our psychological lives and prevents us from enjoying life, but more importantly it chokes our spiritual life because, if we are worrying, it is basically because we are fixated on our problems and this chokes our life of faith: we give such a large place for our problems that we simply forget God. And this is indeed a tragedy because, as Jesus assures us in today’s gospel reading, God is the solution to all our problems. If indeed he takes care of feeding the birds and of clothing the flowers, how much more will he take care of feeding and clothing us, his beloved children.

Look at your face in a mirror. How many lines in it are caused by worry? Let us relax and trust God for a change.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3557-june-18-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 11th Week of the Year

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