22 June 2024 - Saturday of the 11th ordinary week

2 Ch 24, 17-25; Matthew 6, 24-34


          Jesus compares us to the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. We certainly have a lot in common with them. We belong to the same biological or animal world. But there's something that the birds and flowers don't have that we do: our ability to express our needs in words. When a need is expressed in words, it is no longer simply a need. It becomes a desire, a request, a plea - something that establishes a presence, a relationship and, ultimately, love. When, as a human being, I express a desire to someone, I'm not simply asking for something; I'm asking someone for something. I'm asking someone to meet my need. I'm asking him to love me enough to show me his affection by satisfying my need.

          Jesus also compares God to a Father who knows everything we need. So we don't have to worry about how our needs will be met. The essence of Jesus' message in this text is that we are not to be concerned, or worry. Of course, Jesus is not against us expressing our needs to our Father. On the contrary, he expressly invites us to do so. But he keeps repeating: “Do not worry”.


          Once again, Jesus is talking about detachment, which should be the hallmark of every Christian. His words recall those of the Beatitudes, and especially those of the happiness promised to the poor. Someone has to be truly free to enter the kingdom; that's why, he says, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom.

          We cannot seek the kingdom - we cannot live in constant, conscious union with God, if we are too preoccupied with our needs - and not just our material needs. Intense suffering or hunger cannot be hidden, of course. But we can carry moral or psychological wounds that can poison our lives - and the lives of others - for years before we are aware of them. If we don't recognise them for what they are, they can seriously limit our ability to relate to our brothers and sisters, and also to God. Expressing these needs to God is the best way to be reconciled with them.

          And because the relationship between the person who has a need and the person to whom they express the desire to have it met is a relationship of love, Jesus explains to us that there is a total antagonism between God, whom he calls Abba, and money, to whom he gives the name Mammon. Love is jealous, and we cannot keep these two lovers together or serve these two masters.

          Let us approach with a poor heart the table where our Father offers us the Bread of Eternal Life.