(Matthew 6, 22-33)

Our Lord Jesus Christ, with all that He has said in the Gospel Reading for today, wants to help us get rid of the worries that torture us in our lives.

The first thing that Christ wants to make us understand is that in our struggle for survival, we are not alone, deserted, or helpless, even if all of those around us leave. Almighty God, who is full of wisdom and love created us.  He has not left us to the difficulties of life, but in His affectionate providence takes care of things and does not forget.   Jesus here gives us an example:  the care that God has for even the lilies of the field.   See what beautiful colors they have!   “They neither toil nor spin, and yet I say to you that even Solomon- the King- in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (verses 28-29).  The Lord also talks about God’s care for even the small birds.  “for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (verse 26).  And the Lord continues:  If God the Father takes care of the lilies and birds so well, can He not care for you His children in greater ways?  Why do you have little faith?   And He concludes:  Do not have anxiety.

It is important to be clear in what this means.  The Lord does not say that we do not need to work, that God will just put food in front of you and whatever else you need.   Work is God’s command.   In Paradise, Adam and Eve were told by God to work (Genesis 2:15).   The Apostle Paul writes: “If anyone will not want to work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). So we will eagerly do our work, to improve and promote it with zeal and a good conscience.  To do so, without stress, and with absolute trust in God the Father that he will bless our troubles and our sweat.   If there is any difficulty, we will not be disappointed.   For Christ, if we exhaust all of our strength, will help us at the crucial moment.   The Lord Himself helps, as “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

But for this to happen, Jesus sets down a requirement:  “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (verse 33).   Our modern Saint Porphyrios, commenting on these words of the Lord, tells us:  In our prayer, we should first ask for the salvation of our souls and to be able to reach the Kingdom of God.   To ask for what God wants, as it says in the Lord’s Prayer:  “Your Will be done.”   This is the safest way for us and for those who pray.   To put it simply, there is nothing that Christ cannot solve.   Trust yourself to Christ, and He will find your solution.   Christ can give us what we want easily, the secret is to be selflessly united with Christ in whatever we ask for.

Dear brothers and sisters, in the world we live like others, and we Orthodox Christians will face financial problems and other difficulties that are sometimes pressing and make us sad.  Our difference with those who live “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12) is that we, having done the best we can, regardless of the outcome, do not fall into despair.   We have the promise of Christ that in our greatest trials, our generous and Almighty God will come and redeem us.  So we always go forward in our lives with courage, hope, optimism and peace in our souls.   Our gaze always fixed on Jesus Christ our God.   This must enter deeply into our hearts.   Amen.

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