No Worries! Trust In God
“All these things the pagans seek.”
The world of Jesus was not that different from our own. Taxes and financial pressures, inflation and recession, unemployment—all these realities mirror the insecurity and scarcity experienced by an oppressed people. Thus, Jesus’ words about putting God, not wealth, first in our lives, would have hit his hearers as hard as they hit us today.
So how do we detach ourselves from the fear that drives us to anxiously strive for security in wealth? Jesus says that the pagans worry about security: what they will wear and eat, their jobs, how to pay the rent. Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t have concern for these things, but that we shouldn’t worry about them. He wants to free us from the weariness that comes from constant straining to achieve a goal by ourselves.
Disciples of Jesus, instead, are invited to trust. Put God and his will in first place, and everything else will be provided for. Of course, this means provided for according to God’s will. That is why this invitation of Jesus requires so much trust. It is hard for us to believe that God has our true good at heart, that he will allow nothing to happen to us that will ultimately destroy us. But some things will happen that we don’t like, that cut across our idea of what is in our best interest, that bring us down a peg. When these are received with trust, we discover that God uses them to bring about a new flourishing of life within us.
This is a secret I learned slowly since my early twenties. I had a major setback in my first years of religious life when I had a stroke. Life as I knew it was gone, with no assurance that I would recover. Mine is not a unique story. In some way or other all of us are put in this place. It is the only way we can learn the truth of this Gospel passage. Then, when we have deeply come to know God’s faithful love in adversity, we can trust God with our lives and help others to do the same.
Jesus, I hope you understand. Beneath my reluctance to trust you lies fear—fear of failure, fear of loneliness, fear of death. There is anger that you could have such control over my life, a refusal to give in to your loving embrace. So I squirm out of your arms again and again. I am sure you understand. You have a human heart. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, purify my heart and help me to face my fears, that in facing them I may learn to trust you with my life.
Teach me to trust you, my Lord and Savior.
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 196–197). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.