The Gospel for February 26th, 2017
Reflection: Seek First the Kingdom of God
Have I mentioned before I am a worrier? Nearly every week I think. Even though mine tends toward a more generalized anxiety that can apply to any number of challenges in my life at a given moment, I think most people tend to have at least some pet anxieties that they return to frequently with undue attention. This passage mentions a few: death, food, drink, clothes, and gathering enough “into barns” (25-26). So to all of us, Jesus says, “[S]eek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (33). Good advice from the Master Teacher.
But Jesus also offers a powerful analogy that complements his point. About the worry over clothes, he advises, “Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin” (28). That image of the wild flower growing into its unique beauty without need for its own toil reminds me that complete trust in God’s providence is not its own action that replaces the mental worrying, one action for another; rather it is a quiet passivity that invites God’s grace with a simple, open heart. As Jesus points out, the result in wild flowers is nothing short of God’s perfection. He explains, “[N]ot even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them” (29).
As Lent begins this week and we commit to giving alms as a means of growing closer to our Savior, let us not forget that sometimes it is not best accomplished by goal-oriented sacrifices. Instead, it may just mean slowing down and quietly, patiently allowing Jesus to enter our hearts and lead the way forward. I pray we may simply seek Jesus first and let Him take care of the rest.