Gospel Meditation

“Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” No, indeed we can’t. But evidence does suggest that worrying can subtract time from our life span! Clearly, we are not meant to worry. It’s not healthy and it’s not useful. But for many of us, it’s quite difficult not to be anxious and concerned about matters that are important to us. So what is the secret to letting go of this unnecessary anxiety?

Jesus gives us an answer in today’s Gospel. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” In other words, our focus should be on being faithful followers of God. When we put our trust in the providence of the One who “clothes the grass of the field,” and stop trying to rely on our own (meager) powers, then things will be taken care of: “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”

Part of the secret here, of course, is coming to accept God’s will for us, even when it doesn’t perfectly match what we may have been envisioning. There is a kind of surrender involved that puts God’s plan first. Instead of getting worked up that things aren’t going our way, this kind of reliance upon God enables us to relax and accept the way things are going. The great spiritual writer, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, put in well in his work, Abandonment to Divine Providence, when he said, “To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule to follow: leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence, give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.” God takes care of the birds, the flowers, even the grass! He will also take care of us.