(Is 49:14-15, Ps 62, 1 Cor 4:1-5, Mt 6:24-34)
In brief, the first reading gives us the image of God as a mother—a breastfeeding Mother. “Can a woman forget her sucking child...even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” This is a very strong image of God; that God determines our needs and attends to them like little babies in His arms. It gives us the assurance that we are secure if we rely on Him like suckling babies.
“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.” Jesus explains that human life has a greater value than these. God anticipates our needs and attends to them, even without our knowing. So, we cannot be worrying about our needs and the future as if we owe ourselves or as if God cannot take care of us. It is those who do not know God that behave like this. “For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” We are like suckling babies in God’s arms!
“But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Yes, if God is attending to us like a mother to her helpless baby, ours is to focus on the love that feeds us. This is where we owe God a unilateral devotion and adoration. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” So we hunger for God’s righteousness—that perfection of God that dandles us! Hence, time for worry is taken over by prayer and thanksgiving to God.
It is only Jesus who alone knows the Father that can give us this kind of assurance in God’s providence. We can feel the strength and confidence He communicates about God. We should focus on Jesus and take His words to heart. This way the care of life will not coarse our hearts, and we, as servants of Christ, can spread the mysteries of God—his Kingdom and righteousness. The message of Jesus deepens in our hearts the love that feeds us.
Fr Jude C. Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
All Saints Catholic Church,
Agip Estate, Port Harcourt.