Jesus urges men to only serve God and trust in Him to overcome anxiety. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can always trust in God’s Divine Providence and by growing in the Virtue of Temperance so he can be a good steward by being moderate in consumption.
11th Week in Ordinary Time – Saturday – Mt 6:24-34
After blessing mankind with The Lord’s Prayer and warning men to pursue Heaven instead of the pleasures of the world, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount by calling men to be exclusively committed to God so they can find peace from worldly anxiety.
Jesus refutes the delusion of a man’s independence, confirming that all men are slaves to someone or something. Men must choose between one of two masters. The first master, called “mammon”, a personification of “riches or wealth”, is a false god promoted by Satan; Satan desires men to pursue the world and to rebel against God. The second Master, God Almighty, is the True Master, the One who loves and cares for His men. Elsewhere, Jesus confirms men must choose: “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Mt 12:30).
Having called men to submit to God as their Master, Jesus denounces the worldly attachments of men, which must be overcome through faith in God. Jesus reveals the folly of excessively worrying about worldly things: the relative unimportance of worldly things (food, drink, clothing); the truth that God cares for lowly creatures and so will more than abundantly care for His sons; the absolute futility of worry, especially about the future. Jesus rebukes men of “little faith” who worry like faithless pagans. Instead, Jesus challenges men to first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, trusting that God knows what men need and will provide for every genuine need that faithful men have.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be warned by Jesus, the perfection of Temperance, as He urges men to embrace the virtue of Faith, rather than the deadly sins of Gluttony (excessive worry and indulgence of food and drink) and Greed (excessive worry about acquiring material things); instead men are to pursue the virtues of Temperance regarding food and drink (Abstinence, Moderation, Sobriety, and Fasting) and Generosity (a part of Justice) in dealing with material goods.
Trust in God’s Divine Providence
Realize: Because the powerful in the world reject God, their futile efforts to fix society’s problems only worsen suffering, because the root cause of all suffering is the rejection of God; every Catholic man is called to trust in God’s Divine Providence to be relieved of the suffering from attachment to worldly pursuits and receive lasting peace and happiness.
Believe: Reflect upon the Divine Providence of God (CCC 302-324).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I receive from You a certain knowledge about Your Divine Providence and how it specifically occurs in my life, and I can find the lasting peace and happiness to know that Your perfect will is being done in my life.
Be a good steward by being moderate in consumption
Realize: In contrast to the relentless and reckless exploitation of Creation which is having the growing negative effects of pollution, the extinction of creatures, and the destruction of beautiful wild places, Jesus reveals that God has a deep care for Creation, caring for even the “birds of the air” and the “lilies of the field.”
Believe: Reflect upon the need to Respect the Integrity of Creation (CCC 2415-2418, 2456-2457).
Pray: Almighty Father, Divine Creator, help me build the Virtue of Temperance so my desire for worldly things is lessened, I am moderate and prudent in my consumption of the blessings of Creation, and I always strive to be a good steward who diligently cares for the world You have allowed me to inherit and expect me to pass along to the next generation.