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Subj:	 MATTHEW 6:24-34: SATURDAY'S GOSPEL FOR REFLECTION  
Date:	6/19/99 6:48:32 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:	mtuazon@ix.netcom.com (Manuel Tuazon)
Reply-to:	daily-word-request@cin.org
To:	daily-word@cin.org

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Saturday, June 19, 1999

11th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St. Romuald, Abbot, or
                   The Blessed Virgin Mary

From: Matthew 6:24-34

Trust in God's Fatherly Providence (Continuation)
-------------------------------------------------
(Jesus said to His disciples,) [24] "No one can serve two masters; for
either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted
to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.

[25] "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you
shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall
put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
[26] Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather
into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of
more value than they?  [27] And which of you by being anxious can add
one cubit to his span of life?  [28] And why are you anxious about
clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they
neither toil nor spin; [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his
glory was not arrayed like one of these.  [30] But if God so clothes the
grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into
the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
[31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What
shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?'  [32] For the Gentiles seek
all these things; and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them
all.  [33] But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all
these things shall be yours as well.

[34] "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be
anxious for itself.  Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the
day."

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Commentary:

24. Man's ultimate goal is God; to attain this goal he should commit
himself entirely.  But in fact some people do not have God as their
ultimate goal, and instead choose wealth of some kind--in which case
wealth becomes their god.  Man cannot have two absolute and contrary
goals.

25-32. In this beautiful passage Jesus shows us the value of the
ordinary things of life, and teaches us to put our trust in God's
fatherly providence.  Using simple examples and comparisons taken from
everyday life, He teaches us to abandon ourselves into the arms of
God.

27. The word "span" could be translated as "stature", but "span" is
closer to the original (cf. Luke 12:25).  A "cubit" is a measure of
length which can metaphorically refer to time.

33. Here again the righteousness of the Kingdom means the life of grace
in man--which involves a whole series of spiritual and moral values and
can be summed up in the notion of "holiness".  The search for holiness
should be our primary purpose in life.  Jesus is again insisting on the
primacy of spiritual demands.  Commenting on this passage, Pope Paul VI
says: "Why poverty?  It is to give God, the Kingdom of God, the first
place in the scale of values which are the object of human
aspirations.  Jesus says: `Seek first His Kingdom and His
righteousness'.  And He says this with regard to all the other temporal
goods, even necessary and legitimate ones, with which human desires are
usually concerned.  Christ's poverty makes possible that detachment
from earthly things which allows us to place the relationship with God
at the peak of human aspirations" ("General Audience", 5 January
1977).

34. Our Lord exhorts us to go about our daily tasks serenely and not to
worry uselessly about what happened yesterday or what may happen
tomorrow.  This is wisdom based on God's fatherly providence and on our
own everyday experience: "He who observes the wind will not sow; and he
who regards the clouds will not reap" (Eccles 11:4).

What is important, what is within our reach, is to live in God's
presence and make good use of the present moment: "Do your duty `now',
without looking back on `yesterday', which has already passed, or
worrying over `tomorrow', which may never come for you" ([Blessed] J.
Escriva, "The Way", 253).

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Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.  Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain.  Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.  Printed in Hungary.
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