Mt 6:24-34 Two Masters
There is only one thing that God Almighty, Creator of the Universe and Master of all things cannot do. Do you know what it is? He cannot make a mistake.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…Do not worry about your clothes.”
The Problem: We are very much afraid of being alone and of not being able to take care of ourselves. Has the Lord forgotten me? Has the Lord abandoned me? This single verse from today’s Gospel is worth meditating on for at least one week. How true these words are for our generation that is so obsessed with the perfect body and the perfect life. But, let us never forget that the reason for the obsession is the fear of being alone, abandoned, forgotten.
The Cause: Parents know (or should know) that kids look up to stars. Before their downfall, one past generation openly or secretly looked up to Spears, Lohan, Moss, Richie, and Hilton. But what they may not always be aware of is that our children believe such celebrities set standards of beauty. And kids are not the only ones trying to live up to the Hollywood ideal. Many moms and dads try to live up to the standards set by the stars. They too want to be in the “in” and work hard and spend tons of money to make sure that their image coincides with the person on the screen, magazine, daytime soap and even the evening news!
Our Families: People from just about every walk of life are getting liposucked, tummy-tucked, implanted, rearranged, sculpted down, germadermed, dermajuved, botoxed, etc…(The technology keeps changing and I cannot even keep up!) The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that nearly eleven million cosmetic operations were performed in the U.S. in 2006, a 7% increase from 2005. I do know that many of these operations were performed for serious reasons, such as breast tumor removal; but far too many for literally “superficial” reasons.
From the numbers alone, it is clear that we have a strong tendency to jump on any boat to improve our looks and to feel good and look good.
The Lord takes a different approach. True beauty is found in being good and doing good.
Our God’s Response: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
There we have it! Our Lord even predicted it; He foresaw it for he knows our hearts and our minds better than we do. And if we reflect upon it, we will see that he is absolutely right! How many generations will it take to heed his words, his advice, his honesty. I believe we are losing the battle. There have been some false attempts (or movements) in the past. In the 1960’s we had a desire to go back to “nature” with the hair movement, peace movement, hippy movement, and of course the so-called love movement. All of which were really selfish-beyond-belief (self-centered) movements. Nothing new there!
In the end, it always comes down to this: Will I serve the Lord or myself? The Psalmist provides the answer, “Rest in God alone, my soul” (Ps. 62:6a). Amen to that. Christ Jesus says it more beautifully, “Come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest.”
The Lord does not forget his own, even in their sin. Isaiah tells God that people ("Zion") are asking if He has forgotten them. I think Isaiah is asking the question for himself and using Zion as his excuse! That's what we typically do too. The Lord knows and his answer sends our hearts to our throats. His son completes the answer, Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else will fall into place. Today, we are asked to choose well in preparation for Lent; to sacrifice, and to complete the formula of love by giving what is sacrificed to others.