“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?…Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?… 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? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.” (Matt 6: 25, 27, 30-34)
For the past few weeks, I have been attending a bible study, sponsored by the Beverly Catholic Collaborative. There are nine of us in the group, and we are looking at the Gospel of Matthew. We are following a bible study program called: “The Great Adventure: Matthew,” written by Jeff Cavins, and Sarah Christmyer. The program utilizes videos of talks by Mr. Cavins, after there has been a discussion of the material.
Last night, I was the facilitator. The evening went well, and I got positive feedback on my efforts. I did find it interesting that it was Chapter Six of the Gospel of Matthew, that we were discussing, especially verses 25 to 34. I do not know of anybody, who is not at least a little anxious about his/hers personal and family finances. This is especially true if one has been unemployed for an extended period of time, and unemployment insurance is running out. The anxiety can be overwhelming at times, so much so that it can distract us from our relationships; with family, with friends, and ultimately, with God. And this the subtle threat of anxiety, of worry; it can wear us down, cause us to despair, and become depressed. We then find ourselves in a deep dark hole.
The Gospel seems to promise that if we trust the Father, all will be provided for us. Jesus is encouraging us to let go of the anxiety, let go the fear. This is easier said than done, especially when the realities of life come knocking at our door. What Jesus Christ is asking of us, is to remain focus on God, to remain faithful to the teachings he is giving. Through the Letter of St. Paul to Philippians, Christ indicates what we can expect that will help us through trying times: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4: 6-7)
If we strive to maintain that peace of Christ in our hearts and minds, then as Julian of Norwich is quoted of saying: “All will be well.”