Kuwait City, 28.02.1-2.03.2014.
Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič
The Lord Jesus speaks some very strong words in today’s gospel regarding our relationship to God and our attitude towards money and material goods. The Lord starts by saying No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. All believers are invited to choose between love of God or the love of money and worldly possessions. Love of money can become a true idolatry if we are not careful. The human tendency is to attach oneself to what one can see and hold, thereby possessing and controlling it. If we place too much value on the pursuit of money and possessions, soon we can find ourselves ‘possessed’ by our desire for them. One may find temporary happiness in them, but certainly not lasting fulfillment or a meaningful life.
Jesus invites all of us not to worry about what we are to eat or drink or wear, but to place all our trust in God. One could say this is easier said than done, because what is one to do when there are family demands and financial difficulties to deal with on a daily basis and some of these problems never seem to go away? This statement may appear naïve and improper, especially to someone who is starving and homeless. The Lord Jesus nevertheless, explains quite clearly that all our worrying about material things will not add a day to our lives. Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Each of us should therefore think for a moment why we tend to worry so much about our lives and material needs.
The fundamental question to be asked therefore is do you trust God? If you truly trust God, then you would never worry. If you choose to worry in any situation then know that you are not fully trusting in God. Trust God or worry. Those are the two choices you have in every situation. Trust God and be at peace or worry and experience stress. Your choices are that simple and you will make your life as peaceful or stressful as you choose to make it. Trust God and be at peace. This is all that is asked of you. But, over and over again, many choose worry over trust, and make their lives a living hell.
Once again some will say easier said than done, but think again. You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation. Can your case be any more complex or difficult than these that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of you? The first reading provides an example of how a true mother can never forget the child she has carried in her womb. Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. The Lord entrusted the beginning of our life to our mother who conceived us in her womb and He has taken care of us through the love of our parents. Stop doubting God and start believing and trusting! Trust during dark moments and trust in the light, and you will find that the faith which may begin by mighty effort, will end sooner or later by becoming the easy and natural habit of the soul.
Christians therefore should never worry for we believe in the love of God towards us. Our Lord Jesus teaches us two ways in which to defeat worry.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. To do the will of God is to be already in the Kingdom (Matt 6:10). To concentrate on seeking and accepting God’s will is the way to defeat worry. We know how in our own lives a great love can drive out every other concern. Such a love can inspire a man’s work, intensify his study, purify his life, dominate his whole being. It was Jesus’ conviction that worry is banished when God becomes the dominating power of our lives. This is why our concern should be to have fewer possessions and more love. Less things and more heart. Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said that “everything that I don’t need becomes a burden upon me”.
Lastly, Jesus says that worry can be defeated when we acquire the art of living one day at a time. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. Christ teaches us to live one day at a time, yet living it trusting in God, walking with the Lord, praying to Him and thanking Him for the many gifts received. For younger people and those young at heart this means ‘seizing the day’. For those a bit older, who have many years of experience behind them, this means ‘savouring the day’. For both young and old it means not looking back at the past with sorrow or looking around and worrying about the future, but looking upward with faith today, believing in God and trusting in his Fatherly love. Let us therefore always make God and the search for his Kingdom our first priority and not our last resort.