A special thank you this week to our friends from the Perales family and St. Benedict Parish Chicago, in the congregation.
There’s really two invitations from our gospel today. I’d like to talk about both of those. The two invitations that we hear today, the first one, do not worry, or positively trust in the Lord. Do not worry. Trust in the Lord. That’s the first invitation that we find in our gospel today. Really Jesus inviting all of us to make sure that we constantly trust in the Lord.
And then the second invitation that we find in the gospel today is to really make sure that our intentions are always poised towards the Lord. How are our intentions poised towards God? For instance, we have to worry about…or we do worry about all these things all the time. But how often do we worry, do we actively and intentionally work towards making sure that our place in Heaven is as secure as it can be? How is that our intention when we’re compassionate, when we’re generous, when we’re peace filled, when we’re loving of our brothers and sisters? Are we intentional about not so much worrying about other things but worrying about being pleasing in God’s sight? How do we intentionally work always towards being pleasing in God’s sight?
Those are the two invitations that Jesus offers us today, not so much worrying about all the nitty-gritty of today, all the details and all the clothing and food. Of course, they’re all important. We have to eat. We have to look respectable. But Jesus says and Jesus invites us to make sure that we’re also intentional about the kingdom of paradise and that we always trust in the Lord.
There’s a story about a rabbi. And the rabbi, early on in his rabbinical career, the rabbi would always think about meeting God and God saying to him, “Rabbi…” His name was Eli, “Rabbi Eli, Rabbi Eli, why couldn’t you or why didn’t you strive to be more like Moses, the great Moses.” He would think about that and how he would be a great leader like Moses. Later on when he’s a little more mature in his ministry, Rabbi Eli would envision God asking him, “Rabbi Eli why wouldn’t you be more like, oh, King David in all of your power, and glory, and majesty, and wisdom, why wouldn’t you be more like the great King David?”
As Rabbi Eli got older and older and older and more wise in his own ministry, he envisioned God asking him this question, “Rabbi Eli, were you the best Rabbi Eli you can be? Did you always seek after serving God all the time? Were you worried about all the things of life? Did you seek after God all the time in your life? Rabbi Eli, did you live up to your best potential?” Rabbi Eli learned over the course of time that God had given him so many gifts.
As he got wiser and wiser in his ministry, Rabbi Eli realized that God had given him so many gifts and he was just called to use the gifts that he had to seek after the kingdom of heaven, not to worry too much about the things of Earth but to dedicate himself to finding God. Jesus’ invitation to us today is to not worry, trust in God and seek after the kingdom of paradise that we’re promised at baptism.