Jesus said, “In the world, you will have troubles. But take courage, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) In other words, Jesus tells us that we will have worries, even if we are his chosen disciples, but have faith, place your worries into his heart, for he knows them – he knows when a single hair falls from our heads – and he cares for us; and he has the power to save us. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything you need will be given you. “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NAB).
Now he didn’t say “Seek God ALONE and nothing else” but seek FIRST the Kingdom of God. We do need to work and care for the means of our living. But they are MEANS, not ENDS. If the means of living like food, drink, pleasure, possessions, popularity or prestige, power cease to be a means for life and become an end, they will enter into conflict with one another, and paralyze you, or fill you with worries. We can only have ONE ultimate concern, or goal, or end – God’s purpose for you. If your goal is approval from others, in other words, prestige of popularity, you will have to sacrifice in a damaging way, the other means, like pleasure, possessions, power. You will care more about being approved than about your family, or about God’s purpose for you. If you don’t care about God’s purpose for you, you will not know what to do with power, wealth, health, prestige, when you get them. And you will not know when you have enough of them.
Notice also that it is not only God that you have to put first, so that everything else falls into its right place. Rather, it is God’s purpose for you that you must seek first. And remember, that purpose God has for you, take into account your own happiness and true joy into the world and in the next.
God bless you! Fr. Pierre
“Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.” – Mary C. Crowley