Daily Readings Reflection for 6/18/11

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Scripture: Lectionary 370.  II Cor. 12:1-10.  Psalm 34:8-9.10-11.12-13.
Matthew 6:24-34

Saturday’s Readings

Many of the words and phrases that flow from the mouth of Jesus in his
Sermon on the Mount are similar to the Book of Proverbs, a Wisdom book.  We
saw a wisdom maxim yesterday about the treasure in the heart, today we have
some healthy advice about how to overcome the control of anxiety that rears
its head so often in our busy and hectic schedules. We start to fret and
become anxious whether we will be able to do all that we feel obliged to
do.  Doesn’t it ever let up?  Probably not and that is why it is good to
listen carefully to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that helps us to be
wholesome, happy (blessed) people.

Today Jesus tells us not to worry or be anxious. He does not just say this,
he gives us examples in nature and of course in the surprises of God’s
graces acting within and upon us.  We are told to let go of our anxieties
by realizing how good God is. One of the women saints, Julie Billiart, has
as her charism and that of her sisters, O gue Bon, le Bon Dieu!  Oh, how
good the Good God is.  Jesus appeals to nature to help us get organized
about how to deal with worries and anxieties.  God will provide for our
needs no matter how difficult we may think things are for us on a given
day.  “Enough then of worrying about tomorrow.  Sufficient for the day is
the trouble thereof.”

In our prayers before the reception of the real presence of Jesus in
Communion we have two prayers that reflect what Jesus is saying: The Lord’s
Prayer is greatly helpful in dispelling our worries and fears about what we
are to do, wear, and eat.  Then the prayer after that is directly concerned
about our anxieties just as Jesus is.  We pray to be delivered from all
anxiety.  These prayers and the words of Jesus are more than mere rubrics
or ritual words. They actually make a lot of sense when we take them to
heart and live out the prayers we say.  These prayers open our hearts to
God’s loving mercy and his tender concerns and kindness toward us.  All
this is focused at the time before Communion, a most sacred time to trust
and love the Lord present among us in the Eucharist and the assembly.

Jesus goes on to tell us the our heavenly Father knows everything that we
need and when we seek his rule and reign within our hearts we have the
ability to overcome the pain of Angst. God’s paths are opened before
us–paths that lead to holiness and wholeness.  There is no need to search
for a how to do it formula to get rid of worries and anixieties;  the
Sermon on the Mount is our rule of living and being. The doing will then
follow naturally.  These three chapters of Matthew called the Sermon on the
Mount (chapters five to seven included) are what made a St. Francis, a
Mother Teresa, a Saint Catherine of Siena.  And if we glance back at our
continuing saint among us–Paul we see how he embraced what Jesus is saying
to him after his conversion.  God assures him and us, “My grace is
sufficient for you, for it is in weakness power reaches perfection.”
Another paradox that is revelatory reminds us to be patient and not to be
anxious. We are to be at peace.  Blessed are the peace makers, the poor,
the merciful, etc. Amen.

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