June 18, 2022
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 370

2 Chronicles 24:17-25
Psalm 89:4-5, 29-30, 31-32, 33-34
Matthew 6:24-34
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Today’s gospel offers a seemingly simple perspective – you can’t serve two masters.  Most of us would quickly agree with such a statement, we would understand that having two masters/bosses/jobs would easily lead to conflicts of interest and the inability to give 100% to either of the masters. There are few of us who think we could equally work two full time jobs and have a great performance in both. As we read on in the gospel, one of the masters is, of course, God but the other is mammon – money, material things, greed.

Most of us, certainly me, knows that we need the basics but our needs and wants are so far apart – what I consider necessity, may be more likely my wants and desires.  We seem to think we must accumulate not only wealth but things, stuff – somehow that is going to take care of us.  The bigger the pile of stuff the more successful we are or perhaps appear to others.  But. . . where are the essentials of our lives and our very being?  Is it in piles of stuff?  When I’m working with the homeless and I see how they whole lives are contained in a grocery cart, it makes me wonder. I realize that this may not be the chosen life, yet I question myself and why I need to keep so much.  I remember a quote from Dorothy Day, to live simply, that others may simply live. In my mind, it is not the money that is evil or pulls us away from our true Master, rather the greed of wanting it more and more.  Needless to say, there are so many ways that we can use money to help others.

The gospel goes on to ask us:  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? . . . . . Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?  There is no room for both worry and pray.  If we say we really trust in the Lord, can we be worrying at the same time?  God will take care of us, if we can trust Him.  As I listened in church this week, I was struck by the thought: am I saved, because I believe, or it is because I am saved that I can believe.  It is a gift – how do I take that gift and serve my Master?  Perhaps, it is just my age, my stage in life but I always seem to have more questions than answers.  How, at this point in my life, can I listen for those answers and hear them, not in a burning bush, rather in those around me?  What can I learn from the homeless, from the sparrows?

In one of Toby Mac’s songs, he laments, I don't wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul.  While not all will relate to his Christian rap approach to music, the question he poses is an essential one. What is the sense of all the “stuff,” fame, glory, whatever, if I have lost my soul?

Of course, I think there is not a better song to reinforce this reading . . . .
Sparrows Corey Asbury

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