Today’s Gospel presents us with the image of a loving and faithful God who provides for every aspect of our lives. ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God’ is one of those iconic verses we know so well that it whispers to us again and again. The only danger is it can lose its power and its meaning. We no longer let it shock or surprise us. Seek first the Kingdom of God is Jesus’ ongoing whisper to us. This invitation has an enticing incentive: to be free from all worry; to be free from worldly things; to have complete trust in God.
This passage has many beautiful images and encouraging words. The stunning imagery of the lilies in the field and how adorned and beautiful they are, are meant to entice us away from worrying about the ‘stuff’ of the world: money, clothes, gadgets, cars. We need the basics of course, but there is a great freedom in putting the ‘stuff’ second and focusing on God’s Kingdom in everything we do: families, friends; looking after our planet; being in solidarity with those who are struggling; standing up for those who experience injustice; loving neighbour and loving God.
We all worry of course, and possibly spend a lot of energy on needless worry. Often the things we worry about never happen. Behind much worry lies a lack of trust in ourselves, in others and in God. By trusting more in God’s providence we can avoid excessive worrying. Our faith helps us to place all our hope and trust in our loving Father, confident in his guiding presence in our lives especially during periods of difficulty and anxiety. As we look ahead to Lent, we can try to become more aware of God’s presence in the world around us. Our faith will not take away the problems but knowing that he is with us no matter what can make a difference.
(Adapted from Intercom, March 2014