Posted by: liturgicalyear | February 27, 2011

Seek First the Kingdom of God

When I saw today’s gospel, I sat up and paid close attention, particularly at this verse:  “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”  (Mt 6:33)  Fr. Marc Montminy preached on this very subject in the opening talk from the retreat I attended last weekend.  That got me thinking…

How do we seek first His kingdom? Prayer.

I believe Matthew provides us clues in this part of his gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon. (Mt 6:24)

We pray, “Lord give me an undivided heart that I may know and do Your will.”

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Mt 6:25-27

Saint Padre Pio said, “If you pray, why worry?  If you worry, why pray?”  Saint Pio, intercede for me that I may totally surrender myself and those I love into the merciful heart of Jesus.

Why are you anxious about clothes? (Mt 6:28)

We pray to follow St. Paul’s advice from Phillippians 4:6-8:

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?  (Mt 6:29-30)

We pray with the psalmist:

“Only in God is my soul at rest;
From him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold;
I shall not be disturbed at all.”  (Ps 62)

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (Mt 6:31-32)

We rest in what the psalmist teaches us in Ps 139:

“O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.”

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”  (Mt 6:33)

 With Saint Faustina, we pray, “My Jesus, I trust in You.”

O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you!  Anne

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