Faith Versus Anxiety

Matthew 6: 24-34
2 Cor 12:1-10 / Psa 34

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.
(Matthew 6:24)

Grant me the grace that I may not be
Overcome by my anxiety;
When troubles come to make me worry
Inspire me to put my trust in Thee.

[Jesus said,] “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon. So, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his span of life? And why do you worry about clothes? Look at the flowers in the field. They do not toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, you men of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Only the pagans worry about such things; your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:24-34)

Reflection

Jesus is simply telling us in today’s Gospel that we must put our trust in God, and set aside our worries and anxieties. Negative feelings such as these only erode our faith in God, Who is our Father and Divine Provider, and dissipates our enthusiasm for the more important things in life, such as the pursuit of a blessed life, and improving good relations with family and friends, as well as good health and well-being. The sound advice of our Lord not to worry is meant to keep us from the ill effects of this unproductive preoccupation. Stress due to worrying is the aggravating factor in many ailments like ulcers, cancers, strokes and cardiac arrests. The man who believes in his heart of hearts that God will always be there for him and his family come what may is blessed with peace and free from anxieties. He is also grateful, helpful, and steers clear of all wrongdoings and evil influences.

The man who seeks the things of this world, like wealth, power or fame can never be truly happy, because the joy and peace that come from the Holy Spirit cannot reside in his heart. In his letter, the apostle James poses this question: “Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (Jam 4:4). Anyone who is trying to serve both God and mammon, therefore, is like a builder or traveler trying to follow two master plans. He will only be confused, and his goal will end up in total failure.

How then do we keep an ordered life? The advice of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians (4:6) puts it plainly: “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.” The Book of Psalms is full of assurances, like Psalm 46:1-2: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” St. Peter also wrote, “Place all your worries on Him since He takes care of you” (1Pet 5:7).

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.

Comments are closed.