Sunday, February 26, 2017
Seek first the Kingdom
"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?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
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.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
Today is the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time and we are asked in the Gospel to put aside all worry. Jesus calls us today "to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."
That’s a significant focus for us since our concerns are all about us. Sometimes our concerns shift us to worry and pessimism. So, Jesus links God’s kingdom as the ultimate reason for optimism and hope. The very meaning of the kingdom is that God and those who stand with him win.
In the end, good triumphs over evil. If you’re a citizen of God’s kingdom — and all who follow Jesus faithfully are — it’s still possible that you might be pessimistic about human activity in the short term, but you’ve got every reason to be optimistic about God’s activity in the long term.