Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Too often we find ourselves overly preoccupied with worldly things. How many times have we found ourselves saying things like, "I can't be happy without this career, without this particular relationship, or without this level of income?" We become so sucked into the things of this world that we become slaves to it, and lose our freedom to love God with all our mind, heart, and soul.
In today's Gospel (Matthew 6:24-34), Jesus reminds us of the important truth that we cannot live for God and worldly things at the same time. Otherwise, we will end up loving the world and not God. A preoccupation with worldly things distracts us from the spiritual life and causes us to fall into sin.
In the Gospel, God is not telling us that we should never be concerned with food, clothing, or shelter. Rather, God is telling us that our concern for such things should always be set in the context of our first and most important concern: our love and complete devotion to God. Food, clothing, and shelter are means to an end. They serve as sustenance and support for our mission as disciples of Christ. When we make the acquisition of wealth the focal point of our life, the love of God fades into the background until it can no longer be found. We cannot allow the worries of the world to cause our love and devotion for God to fade away. Nothing should separate us from having a strong spiritual life in Christ.
One of the ways we can reclaim our true purpose in life as disciples of Christ is to celebrate the Lord's Day (Sunday) as He intended it to be celebrated. As a way of serving God and not the world, we can set aside any unnecessary work for another time and reclaim Sunday as a day for faith and family. Soccer games, sleeping in, household chores, and additional take home work are all important dimensions of our lives, but should never keep us from coming to Mass and spending quality time with God and our family on Sundays. Too often these things become excuses for why we do not attend to our spiritual life. They are signs of our love for the world and our lack of love for Christ. As long as we allow these things to interfere with our worship of God and our responsibility to serve and love our family, we are servants of the world and not servants of Jesus Christ.
Let us pray today that God will reorient us toward a greater love for Him. May we make love of Christ the primary goal of our life so that worldly things might assume their proper place as means to this beautiful end. May God free us from a love of this world so that we can see the real Kingdom for which we were created.
Peace in Christ,