for Sunday, February 26, 2017
God loves us! This is not easy for many of us to accept. We modify this statement in our minds and in our actions so something like this: God loves us if we are good. The readings today are a teaching about the unqualified and unconditional love that God has for us, always and in every circumstance, when we do good and when we do evil. God loves us!
The first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah, is so short and focuses directly on God's love for us. Zion is the symbol of God's Chosen People and complains: God has forsaken me, God has forgotten me! God replies this way: Even should a mother forget her child, I will never forget you!
That is a really strong statement. Yes, of course, there are mothers who forget their children and mothers who even damage their children. But the image given to us is of a good mother, who lives her children even when the children are not so good. And God is even more than that. Even if we turn against God, God will never turn against us. God loves us without conditions.
The second reading is from the First Letter to the Corinthians. The point of the reading today seems to be that we should not judge others or even judge ourselves. Only God really knows what is within us. We ourselves don't always know what is within us. We can only keep on trying to do the will of the Lord. No matter how often we may fail or even reject God, we should not judge but should seek to be converted and to live, without trying to figure out everything. We live the mystery of God's love for us by seeking to respond to that love, no matter we may fail.
The Gospel today, from Saint Matthew, tell us again: don't worry about your life. God will provide for you.
Probably we don't experience life that way! We hear people say: I have to take of myself because God never gives me what I need! We can recognize some truth in that, but the truth is only that we don't see God providing for us and look at our lives as something that we must accomplish, with or without God. We are invited to change our way of looking at life and to recognize that God wants us to live in His love and that He always provides all that we need. If we look at our lives as simply a gift of God that we give back to God, then life can be experiences in the way of the Gospel. Far too often, however, we look at life as something for our pleasure, something that is supposed to bring us pleasures and goods and happiness, etc. This changes life from a gift of God to something that I must take up on my own to get all that I want.
So today, my sisters and brothers, we are invited to refocus our lives. Life is a gift and each of us is a particular mystery God has created for His glory. If we can find a way to live in that love, by following the Word of the Lord, then our lives become peaceful and filled with meaning. We won't have all that we want in terms of physical goods and money and pleasure. But we will have God now and forever. Amen.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 49.14-15
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 4.1-5
Gospel: Matthew 6.24-34
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: