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Liturgical day: Saturday 11th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (2Chr 24:17-25): After the death of Jehoiada, the princes of Judah came and paid homage to King Joash, and the king then listened to them. They forsook the temple of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and began to serve the sacred poles and the idols; and because of this crime of theirs, wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem. Although prophets were sent to them to convert them to the Lord, the people would not listen to their warnings. Then the Spirit of God possessed Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He took his stand above the people and said to them: «God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the Lord's commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, he has abandoned you’». But they conspired against him, and at the king's order they stoned him to death in the court of the Lord's temple.

Thus King Joash was unmindful of the devotion shown him by Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, and slew his son. And as Zechariah was dying, he said, «May the Lord see and avenge». At the turn of the year a force of Arameans came up against Joash. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem, did away with all the princes of the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Though the Aramean force came with few men, the Lord surrendered a very large force into their power, because Judah had abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers. So punishment was meted out to Joash. After the Arameans had departed from him, leaving him in grievous suffering, his servants conspired against him because of the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest. He was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
Responsorial Psalm: 88
R/. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
«I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations».

«Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm. I will make his posterity endure forever and his throne as the days of heaven».

«If his sons forsake my law and walk not according to my ordinances, if they violate my statutes and keep not my commands».

«I will punish their crime with a rod and their guilt with stripes. Yet my mercy I will not take from him, nor will I belie my faithfulness».
Verscicle before the Gospel (2Cor 8:9): Alleluia. Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 6,24-34): Jesus said to his disciples, «No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the first and look down on the second. You cannot at the same time serve God and money. This is why I tell you not to be worried about food and drink for yourself, or about clothes for your body. Is not life more important than food and is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, they do not harvest and do not store food in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than birds? Can any of you add a day to your life by worrying about it?

»Why are you so worried about your clothes? Look at the flowers in the fields how they grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his wealth was clothed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass in the field which blooms today and is to be burned tomorrow in an oven, how much more will he clothe you? What little faith you have! Do not worry and say: What are we going to eat? What are we going to drink? Or: what shall we wear? The pagans busy themselves with such things; but your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God and all these things will also be given to you. Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own».

«Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God and all these things will also be given to you»

Fr. Jacques PHILIPPE
(Cordes sur Ciel, France)

Today, the Gospel clearly speaks of living the "present moment": not to keep thinking about yesterday, but abandon yourself to God and His mercy. Not to torture about tomorrow, but to entrust it all to His Providence. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus said: «the spirit of self-abandonment is my sole guide – I have no other compass!».

Preoccupation has never solved any problem. What solves problems is self-assurance, faith. Jesus says «If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you – you of little faith?» (Mt 6:30).

Life per-se is not too problematic; it is man who is deficient in faith... Existence is not always easy. At times it can be stressful; we frequently feel injured and shocked by what is happening in our life or in that of others. But let us face it with faith and let us try to live, day by day, by trusting God will fulfill His promises. Faith will lead us to salvation.

«Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.» (Mt 6:34). What does that mean? Try, today, to live equitably, according to the logic of the Kingdom, with trust, simplicity, seeking God, with reckless abandon. And God will take care of the rest...

Day by day. It is very important. What so often wear us down are all these comebacks to the past and our fear of the future; whereas, mysteriously, when we just live in the present moment we find strength. What I have to live by today, I have God’s grace to live it. If tomorrow I must cope with more difficult situations, God will increase His grace. God's grace is given every moment, day by day. To live the present moment means to accept weakness: to give up redoing the past or to dominate the future, to be contented by the present.

«Not to be worried about food and drink for yourself. Do not worry about tomorrow»

Fr. Carles ELÍAS i Cao
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus tells us: «You cannot at the same time serve God and money» (Mt 6:24). With these words He confronts us with our own uncertainty, which we try to alleviate by leaning on the conviction that we have, not only what we need, but also what we want, which, in turn, leads us into consumism and waste.

«Let the avaricious hear these words; let the Christian who thinks he can serve both Christ and money, hear them too. For, He did not say: he who has riches but he who serves riches; nor he who is enslaved by riches and keeps them like a slave; but he who has cast off the yoke of slavery and distributes his wealth in a lordly manner» (St Jerome).

Today, as in the beatitudes —or in the key passage of the new commandment (Jn 13:34-35)—, the Lord urges us to settle for an unlimited confidence in the Father, who offers Himself to us as the Divine Providence, for our quest for the Kingdom of justice, peace and joy, and for a true simplicity of our soul, that turns round, time and again, «with groans that words cannot express» (Rm 8:26), to the Only One who can fill to the brim our longing for plenitude and eternity. While conscious of the temporality of our existence, through our own self-denial, we must be certain of our desire to follow the Christ.

Seeking God's forgiveness for past sins and throwing away any fears and worries for a future yet to come, Jesus invites us to live the present day, which is the only thing we can be more or less sure of. And this “today” is given to us as our daily bread. «We only own the present, while the hope for the future is uncertain (...). Each day has enough trouble of his own. So why worry about?» (St Gregory of Nyssa).