Sufficient for a day…is its own worries
We have three baptisms today at the 11am Mass…and if I was a gambling man, I’d bet that the 3 moms and 3 dads have each already experienced lots of joys from the little ones. Of course, who wouldn’t crumble at a little baby’s new smile? Or what about when they first start to grab hold of your little finger for dear life? …precious little exchanges! But those moms and dads are probably—at the same time—feeling lots of anxieties and natural worries: will my job be able to support my family? Will the snow let up and winter pass more quickly so that heating bills won’t consume our paychecks? Do we have enough diapers and baby clothes and toys and formula and…all the other stuff to last us next week? What about the next week? …and the next?
Although these worries are quite natural and provisions ought to be planned for, still, they may not be our best focus or our highest driving force in life. If our gospel today wasn’t clear enough, maybe a little fable from Aesop will help: recall the goatherd caught in a snowstorm. Herding his goats toward a cave for shelter, the goatherd found the cave already occupied by a herd of wild goats—lots more than his own. Devious and greedy at increasing his own wealth, the goatherd took great care of his wild find…going so far as to even give them the fodder/food intended for his own goats. Well, in time the storm passed and, alas, the goatherd found he had nothing: his own goats vanished with starvation, the wild goats had all run off to the hills and woods, and he had nothing left. The foolish man had made a foolish gamble and poor choice: neglecting what was securely his own to try and gain what would only be lost anyway.
“Sufficient for a day…is its own evil” says the Good Shepherd in today’s gospel. There will be plenty of anxieties or temptations each and every day that we might choose to worry about or be concerned with. But so many of them are merely that: temptations. They need not be our real concerns. If we do not choose to gamble with them, if we choose to keep our hands to the plow of a good and virtuous life, so many threats and so many worries will fall away and never approach us to do us harm.
- “Look at the birds of the air.” Our heavenly Father feeds them.
- “Look how the wild flowers grow.” God clothes them with great splendor.
So, if God cares so much for the birds, the grass and the wildflowers…surely, God also knows our deepest need and cares for us. Let us not worry so much about our immediate needs, being shortsighted and quite impoverished: those immediate needs will always be with us and, in due time, we’ll be able to receive our need.
Rather, let’s keep always before us the great plan of God, His kingdom and His righteousness: for with that priority, our wealth is always assured. From our first reading, we know that the wealth God offers is that He is ever faithful and will never forsake us. May we know of His love—even in our anxiety and worry—and that His greatest and fullest desire for us is to be one with us, now and always. May we seek the real and lasting value of life—the only authentic wealth and prize—the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
God bless you and all whom you love,