A reading from the gospel of Matthew 6:24-34
24 “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.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?
27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
28 Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wildflowers grow. They do not work or spin.
29 But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
30 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?
31 So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.
34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
There are many words and phrases in the gospel reading that are pregnant in meaning or exhortation. Some common slogans or sayings have similar ideas or who knows, they might have originated from this bible passage.
Examples of catchphrases are: “Live in the present”, “Don’t worry, be happy”, “One day at a time”, “Money can’t buy you happiness”, etc.
Yet the words of the gospel should not end up as sloganeering or empty rhetoric. They should be lived out every day most especially at this time of pandemic.
There are many – a lot – of people who have lost jobs and are now insecure of where to get food or whether or not things will return to normal.
“Do not worry”, the gospel exhorts us. Worrying does not help. It will only aggravate the problem. What we can do is to be resilient by acting. Though we may have been rendered immobile due to restrictions, let us keep the faith and hope for the best. The God who created us will not leave us orphan. Let us continually seek His Kingdom of God and His righteousness. In due time, He will make all things beautiful just like the lily of the valley.
On the dark side, some people try take advantage of our predicament for their selfish desires. Profiteering became their habit. They have made money their god. Let us pray for their conversion.
On the other hand, the dire situation brought out the best in some people. They went out of their way to give food or offer help to the needy. Serving others became their source of happiness. Intentionally or not, their actions make the Kingdom of God present in our midst.