After choosing the Gospel for a Sunday, the Church next searches the Old Testament for a reading that reinforces and drives home the message of that day’s Gospel.
The message in today’s Gospel is that we really have nothing to worry about. But, with all the health problems, family problems, financial worries coming our way, how can anyone say we have nothing to worry about?
That’s where the reassurance of the first reading comes in. It tells to not picture God as an all-powerful creator. No. It tells us that in his attitude toward you God is more like a loving mother. God asks, “Can a mother be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will not abandon you.”
One of our modern hymns repeats that beautiful thought.
Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust,
Yet the love of the Lord will stand.
As a shelter for all who will call on His name,
Sing the praise and the glory of God.
Could the Lord ever leave you?
Could the Lord forget His love?
Though a mother forsake her child,
He will not abandon you.
When the Gospel asks, “Is not life more than food, your body more than clothing?”
what it means is, if God was kind and powerful enough to provide you with such great things as life and intricate bodies, can’t you depend on him to provide the lesser things like food and clothing?
Certainly, we must work and plan to provide for our future support; but when we have done our best at that we should turn our thoughts away from useless worrying. Worrying is just thinking in circles without getting us anywhere but into a state of nausea.
I always tell a story about a winter’s day in Korea when I was scared to death. The government announced one Thursday that no car or truck could be used again if it were not brought to the state capitol for a new license by the next evening. There were eight hours of icy mountain roads between my place and the state capitol, but I badly needed the use of the truck I had bought for four hundred dollars from the British when they were pulling out of Korea.
I tried rigging the tires with chains that didn’t fit, but they slipped in around the axle, turning us around, hurtling backward into a ditch that I got out of after removing those chains. After a series of near deaths in the mountains I reached the capitol, getting the new license tag; and on Saturday I had to get back to the parish for weekend Masses.
Judging properly that the truck could not venture out before the ice melted, I looked for some other way of getting back. Father Leo Clarke, the world’s worst driver, came in, and was turning around, assuring me the ice was no problem for him. I went over those mountains with him, my stomach in my mouth as I watched Leo drive everyone else into ditches. Then I made a sensible prayer. I told God that whatever injury or death grabbed me I knew I was in his good hands. I asked him to take my cares away, and he did.