Homily – 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 49:14-15
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Matthew 6:24-34
March 2, 2014

The Israelites had been in exile in Babylon.  While in exile, many felt that the Lord had forgotten them.  What is the Lord’s response to this?  “I will never forget you.

Do you ever feel like the Lord has forgotten you?  If you have, it’s probably because something bad happened.  Maybe you prayed for something and didn’t get what you wanted.

When we face problems in our lives, do we really turn it over to the Lord or do we spend a lot of time worrying about it?

What do you worry about?  Jesus tells us not to work about what we have to eat or drink, our bodies, or what we will wear?

These things are things we really need.  It would seem that we have every reason to worry.  When we don’t have these basic needs fulfilled, we might feel forgotten.

When we feel “worry” we should remember the words of Jesus and ask ourselves “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Worrying accomplishes nothing but what are we supposed to do?

First, we must ask ourselves if whatever causes us to worry is that important.  If it isn’t, then why are we worrying at all?

If it is important, we can ask ourselves what we can do about it.  Our actions must always be good and should be rooted in prayer but we must also realize we can’t do everything ourselves.  Some people worry about not having enough but they won’t accept charity.

Maybe the precise way that God wants to answer our prayers is through the charity of others.

St. Catherine believed that worry indicates a lack of trust in God.  We might ask ourselves why we won’t trust God.  The first answer might be that if God really cared we won’t have problems in the first place.  Or we might feel that God hasn’t answered our prayers in the past, then we can’t count on him for help now.

I would also wonder how hard it might be for us to trust anyone.  Sometimes we have people in our lives that we can’t count on.  Unfortunately, not only does that make it hard to trust the individual, this can make it hard for us that we can trust anyone, God included.

Jesus tells us that we cannot serve both God and mammon, mammon being earthly riches and/or material things.  Unfortunately, it can be easier to focus on worldly things.  Worldly things are here and now.  We know they are real.

Godly things are more abstract.  Sometimes we have to wait for heaven’s reward so we might doubt it will ever come.

The things we worry about can be very real.  We think if we just make a little more money, have a little bit bigger house, all our worries will go away and we will find rest.

The psalmist reminds us of this says “only in God is my soul at rest.”

True spiritual rest does not come from material things.  It is rest in the peace of Christ that we are created for.

Sometimes it came seem so hard to know the peace of Christ but when I do, for me, it changes everything.  It’s not that all my problems and concerns go away.  I just realize they aren’t so important.

When I am finally able to let go and find peace, one of the amazing things for me is I get more done.  Everything falls into place.  Why?  Because when we let go and enter into God’s peace, we let God into our lives.

Lent starts this week.  Our church calls us to give something up for Lent.  If you are a worrier, I suggest you think about giving up “worrying” for Lent.  It might seem odd or impossible but the reward can be good.  Hand it over to God.

If you’re not a worrying, whatever you do choose to give up for Lent, don’t let it be something trivial.  Pick something that is important to you and in giving it up, you show that God is more important and you put your trust in him.

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