Gospel Reflection for the 8th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – February 26th 2017
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.
‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means 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 we not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry; do not say, “What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?” It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’
A great story of lilies in a field and birds in the air. These images come from a big question: What do you serve? God or money?
If you put God first you say things like – A day at a time; things can work out; the glass is always half-full; live for the moment; God never forgets you.
Our meditation, often just sitting there, letting things pass, enjoying the moment leads to prayer. It is relaxing into the mystery of being loved by God. Then the reason for prayer and everything in the gospel is to serve God.
FOR THE SERVICE OF LOVE
All Christian prayer is for the service of love. The biggest gift from God is not the gift of prayer but the gift of love. Of love of those near and far away.
Someone said – am I praying right? We know we are praying right if we are growing in love, if we are becoming even a little more like the Lord, more loving, open, and joyful. Then prayer is right and you need not worry.
Prayer brings us close to the reality of Jesus – remembering we are worth more than anything around us, that each of us is created in the image of God.
Look around today at a field of flowers or birds in the air. Let Jesus’ words echo: ‘you are worth more than these’.
Lord God, give me trust in your care for me, now and always.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
Reflections for Year A, first published in other years in Logos Missalette, have now been published in book form:
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew, Messenger Publications 2016, €9.99
Order online at www.messenger.ie, or in Veritas and other booksellers.