Sunday, February 26, 2017: Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Some situations in life can make us think that God has forgotten or abandoned us. Today’s first reading strongly echoes these words, “I will never forget you.” This is a reassuring message for us. Mothers may abandon their babies, but God cannot forget or allow us to destruction or despair. He has firmly inscribed us on the palms of His hands. He gave His only Son to die for our sins to ensure Eternal Life for us.

We are often the ones who have forgotten God. It is true that we need money, food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, for example. In trying to satisfy these needs, we tend to be greedy for money and make it our God. This is why Jesus warns us in the Gospel that we cannot serve God and money. Jesus is not discouraging work or planning, but insisting on the need for a higher plan. This involves putting God before everything else. We must trust God than our own plan. This saves us from the evil of being addicted to money.

Money addiction affects those who break God’s commandments to serve the money god. On Sundays and on holy days of obligation, without due justification, money addicts break the Third Commandment because they are just too busy in money ventures than attending Mass and resting from work. Money addicts break the Seventh Commandment which forbids stealing. They steal and cheat to become richer. Money addicts break the Eighth Commandment because they are obliged to lie to clinch a business deal or avoid paying debts. Many money addicts break the Sixth and Ninth Commandments by living a life of sin and debauchery. Most are greedy for money to buy sexual favours or even to divorce and “buy” a more pleasing spouse. Many have used their money to win over a married person for whom they lusted.

The Gospel warns us against the danger of money addiction. Jesus encourages us not to worry. We need not worry as we are always in God’s hand. He will ensure that our past mistakes do not haunt us, our present situation does not overwhelm us and that the future is not disastrous. We need not worry because God can never forget us. Worry is a mental distress that wastes our energies and produces unhappiness. Knowing very well God’s constant love and concern for us, we must serve him wholeheartedly. Worry is not only useless; it also offends God because no power in creation can do anything to you that God does not allow.

St. Paul assures us in today’s second reading. He makes us understand that “we are Christ’s servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of his trust.” We are worthy of God’s trust. So we are also expected to trust God. We are confident that He will always shelter and feed us. Sometimes you may feel abandoned and forgotten, but do not worry. God has not forgotten you.

By Rev. Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang, cmf
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