The False Fears of Anxiety

Matthew 6: 24-34
2 Cor 12:1-10 / Ps 34:8-13

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?
(Matthew 6:25)

They live simply who give amply,
Their wealth is measured by good deeds;
Believe fully, and trust firmly
That God will take care of our needs.

“No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve God and mammon. 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? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life? . . . Look at the flowers in the field; they do not work or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes them which grows today and are thrown into the oven tomorrow, will He not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry about what you will eat or drink or wear. Only pagans worry about such things. Your heavenly Father knows what you need. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient to the day are its own troubles.”

Reflection

Jesus tells us four times in this Gospel that we should not worry: “I tell you, do not worry about food and drink…”(25); “Can any of you by worrying add one cubit to his span of life?”(27);”Do not worry and say: What are we going to eat?…” (31); and “Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself”(34). The message today’s Gospel conveys to us is that worrying about material things is an indication of our weak faith in the boundless providence and protection of God. Our Lord knows that being too anxious about temporal concerns will only lead us to “serve mammon” rather than to seek first His kingdom. We should feel more confident and assured than the “pagans, who worry about such things.” (Mt. 6:32)

Anxiety is one of the tools in Satan’s trade that he uses to derail our faith and trust in God. No one is exempted from this spiritual warfare, from the moment he wakes up in the morning till the time he retires at night. And even in bed the battle rages.

Ever since we became members of a renewal community, where we are urged to read the Bible everyday, we discovered in God’s Word a powerful antidote against the tendency to worry or be anxious. We cannot start the day without first opening Scriptures to find and meditate on the Gospel for the day and the readings. In its pages we have discovered so many passages of God’s assurances that, like the rays of the morning sun, disperse the mists of life’s anxieties.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything. In everything resort to prayer and supplication, and bring your requests before God.” In Isaiah, 41:10, we read, “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God, I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

Lord, we take comfort in Your promise, that “God Himself will provide you everything you need, according to his riches, and show you His generosity in Christ Jesus” (Ph.4:19). Thank You, Father for dispelling all our worries. Amen.

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