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Saturday, June 20, 2009

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Immaculate Heart of Mary

2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 34:8-13
Luke 2:41-51
or Matthew 6:24-34

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simple by whose standards?

"I warn you, then: do not worry about your livelihood, what you are to eat or drink or use for clothing." —Matthew 6:25

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus commands us three times not to worry about what we are to eat, drink, or wear (Mt 6:25, 31, 34). When Jesus originally issued these commands, He was talking to people who hardly had any possessions, at least by our standards. He was talking to people who had a coarse loaf of bread, a little water, the clothes on their backs, and maybe a pair of sandals. How could Jesus warn such "dirt-poor" people not to worry about food, drink, and clothes?

If the simple people of Jesus' day needed to be warned about being preoccupied with material possessions, what about us who live in the richest country in the richest time in history? If Jewish peasants could fall into the temptation of serving money rather than God, what kind of temptations do technologically sophisticated Americans face? Even a radically simplified lifestyle by American standards may not approximate what Jesus means by seeking first His kingdom (see Mt 6:33). We must ponder in our hearts the simple, pure, loving Immaculate Heart of Mary, and live in simple trust as she did. We must repent and pray for a miracle of simplicity.

Prayer:  Father, may I not be conformed to this world (Rm 12:2).

Promise:  "My grace is enough for you." —2 Cor 12:9

Praise:  "God Who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him" (Lk 1:49-50).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our book, Living In Reality, or our four-tape audio series starting with AV 38-1 or two-tape video series starting with V-38.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009

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