8th Sunday of the Year A.
God’s goodness and mercy and generosity is experienced in proportion to the trust that we place in him.
A couple of years ago a tornado wiped out
part of the whole city near my sister’s home in Illinois.
I was visiting there just a couple of days after it happened.
We drove around block after block,
looking at driveways leading to a foundation
with no house, only rubble.
Tears rolled down my eyes as I saw people
rummaging through their belongings,
looking for some pictures
and perhaps anything worth saving.
It was such a helpless feeling and just left
an emptiness in my heart.
All over our country, good people come together
and help rebuild the lives of strangers
who experienced some kind of disaster.
How quickly people respond
and cannot wait to help others.
Was it surprising that after the tragic shooting
of the club in Orlando that people waited in line for hours
to donate blood to help save victims?
You can see in these moments the contrast
that Jesus was making between “stuff” that we accumulate
and the goodness of the human heart.
Jesus offers us the gospel way of life
that is free of worrying every day
about what we are to eat and drink and wear.
He is introducing us to his Father
who’s inviting us to trust less in ourselves
and what we can accumulate and more,
much more in what He can provide for us every day
for our good and the good of other people.
In fact, God’s goodness and mercy and generosity
is experienced in proportion
to the trust that we place in him.
We don’t need a tragedy and a loss of all our “stuff”
to experience the providential care
that our Heavenly Father has for us
working through the good hearts of people.
Jesus is inviting us to embrace
his gospel life that way every day.
“Do not worry about our “stuff”, Jesus tells us.
It only chokes our hearts and our generous response
to others in need.
How about a healthy worry or a healthy concern for others.
What are THEY to eat?
What are THEY to wear?
Where are THEY to live?
Who will help THEM?
Who will heal THEM?
Who will love THEM?
We can’t serve two masters – that much is true.
So who are we going to serve?
Who will get our attention?
Who will we take care of? Who comes first?
Who needs us today?
Without worry about ourselves
and more trust in Jesus generosity,
we can have the same compassion
and giving heart every day
as we do for someone who has lost everything in a tragedy.