Tony Worner, Leader of Lay Formation for St Agnes’ Catholic Parish, reads and reflects on Matthew’s Gospel (6: 24-34) in which Jesus tells the disciples not to be anxious about anything and uses examples of birds in the air, flowers and grass in the field to show how God looks after everything.
Tony says there are many points we could pick up and reflect on in this Gospel, However, he focuses on, what could be the ‘main’ theme, Don’t worry.
In reflecting on this Gospel Tony relates the story of watching a young toddler, no more than two years old, when he was at the beach on the weekend. The child was running and jumping off a not very high wall straight into the arms of his father. The sheer delight and sense of freedom he was experiencing was noticed by those watching this performance. Tony says he couldn’t help but think – not a worry in the world and what trust he is showing towards his Dad. Then asks, ‘What happens with us?’
As we get older, we become less trusting of those around us. More cynical. Anxiety steps in. So much so that we can freeze. Not being able to make sometimes little everyday decisions, let alone major ones. Tony remembers listening to a psychologist who said that soon after the age of two, children’s perceptions of the world begin to take hold, and that child-like trust, the no worry mentality fades.
Jesus in this passage reminds us that whatever the issue, whatever the problem, put it into God’s hands. Trust in God. Let go of the problem, the worry, the anxiety.
Tony is not sure who said the following, but he believes they are right:
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its trials—
it simply empties today of its joy.
Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow—
it empties today of its strength.”
In closing Tony invites us to pray: God help me to put all my trust in you. Amen.