7th Week in Ordinary Time
Psalm 49:2-3, 6-11; Mark 9:38-40;James 4:13-17
If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that. (James 4:15)
Using an expression that goes back to the primitive Church, many Arab Christians end their conversations with “if God wills.” “I will see you next week, if God wills.” “My daughter is set to get married in the spring, if God wills.” We see Paul using this expression when he wrote to the Christians at Corinth: “I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing” (1 Corinthians 4:19). And in today’s first reading, James reminds us that our future is in God’s control. We can make the best of plans, but only God can guarantee the future.
If this is the case, wouldn’t it make sense simply to sit on our front porches and wait for the Second Coming? Well, not exactly. Nothing would ever get done! God wants us to be out in the world, building his kingdom—but doing it in a way that keeps us free from anxiety or worry over the future. After all, if he provides so abundantly for the birds and the flowers, how much more can we, his own children, rely on his care and guidance?
The same principle applies to our personal lives as well. God wants us to work hard at our jobs, be involved in our family and neighborhood, and take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. But he doesn’t want the demands of any of these responsibilities to overshadow our joy and confidence in him and his provision.
Anxiety is neither helpful nor necessary. It robs us of our faith and saps us of our energy. God wants us to place our hope in him and in the future he has promised us. He wants us to be free to serve him. So don’t let the cares of this world make you afraid. Don’t let your worries convince you that you have to overcome every obstacle on your own. Instead, turn to the Lord, and surrender your future into his hands. Ask his Spirit to help you let go of worry so that you can live in the light of his promises.
“Lord, free me from needless worry and preoccupation. I want to abandon myself to your plan. May I live every day with trust and gratitude for your providential care.”~WAU