Matthew 5: 38-48

 

“You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

 

“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever become  taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

 

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

 

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

 

Reflection

 

In this passage Jesus makes it quite clear that money doesn’t make us happy, it’s only in loving as Good does that we are fulfilled. Jesus also urges to go out and look at nature, experience the beauty of the wild flowers.

 

Inspired by Jesus, as well as St Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis wrote a letter to everyone who was willing to read it about how we shouldn’t let money rule our lives, but care for the earth around us and all those who live in it.

 

His letter is called Laudato’ Si, and translates as ‘On Care for our Common Home’. In it he urges us to live a simpler lifestyle, not to be obsession with accumulating material possessions, but to love those around us and the environment in which we life. If we do this, we can continue to live our lives as God truly wishes and find fulfilment.

 

Chris Knowles

Salesian Volunteer & Charity Worker

Prayer

from St Francis of Assisi

 

Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,

especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom you give us light.

 

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;

and bears a likeness of you, Most High.

 

Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,

in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

 

Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Wind,

and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather through whom you give sustenance to your creatures.

 

Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water,

who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

 

Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom you light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

 

Amen