Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
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?
The Gospel for the 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time has Jesus being practical: Why are you worried? God is in control. Your faith should be in Him alone, and that should give you peace of mind.
We know how hard this is. If you’re a parent, you know that, from the moment you become a parent, you view the world as an incredibly dangerous place. Everything becomes a potential hazard: Lock up all the sharp knives! Make sure the car seat is properly installed! And it seems to get worse as your child gets older: Driving?? Who thought teens driving was a good idea?!
Maybe you are constantly worried about money, or lack thereof. Perhaps the political climate has you on edge. Or are you worried about your job? Our lives seem to become a constant battleground of worry and faith, of anxiety and peace.
The word “worry” has its roots in the Old English meaning, “to strangle.” This seems accurate: we want the control of taking our worries by the throat, so to speak, but they always seem to get the better of us, and we end up getting strangled! And this turnabout is one that leads to spiritual death: our constant worrying becomes an obsession, forcing out faith and replacing it with fear.
Christ does not want us to live a life of fear. He wants us to have lives rooted in faith, hope and love. Fear destroys this, if we let it. It’s easy to disregard this Gospel passage as sort of a “self-help” Christian advice column, but that is far too simplistic. Christ’s Good News is that the very worst that this world has to offer (sin and death) no longer have a hold on us. They can no longer strangle us, if you will. Christ drives out all fear, all death, all hopelessness. Instead, He brings us hope. He brings us peace of mind. He brings us eternal life.