8 Epiphany – Year A

Isaiah 49:8-16a; Psalm 131; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34

“The best cure for worry is to observe a worried man.” – Traditional Chinese saying

                The above quote may scare us away from worry.  Observing a worried person might give us something to worry about.  But then it also just might even work.  However, Jesus has the opposite approach.  Instead of asking us to look at a worried person to see where we don’t want to go, he asks us to look at the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.  They don’t worry.  A competition bike rider once said that if we worry about falling off the bike we will never get on.  He certainly, during a race, is focused on the finish line.  However, much of his bike riding at other times is simply enjoying the journey.  That is a now moment without worry.  Of course all this is easier said than done.  We can get all the advice and know all the theories but we still worry, regretting the past and fearing the future, still not living in the present.  Let us remember the message of Jesus.  God loves us.  That may sound like a simplistic platitude.  But it is basic theology.  Maybe it is time to be basic.  We may end up more profound without worrying about how to be profound.  Francis of Assisi was in Church one Sunday and heard this very Gospel read.  It changed his life.  It was not the sermon that day that did its work, but just the Gospel speaking for itself.  Francis never looked back.  He got on and never fell off the bike.  What a ride!

Greek

                Almost all translations of Matthew 6:24 say that we cannot “serve” both God and money.  However, the Greek does not use the usual word for serve (from which we get the English word deacon), but a stronger word.  The Greek word means be a “slave to”.  If we are a slave to money, Jesus’ comments about worry will certainly ring true.

Haiku

Worry forgets much,

forgets all the love there now.

But birds and lilies!!

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