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Why one step ahead puts us behind

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 06/18/22

When we worry, we live full of anxiety about what is to come, and not full of gratitude for what is actually happening.

Today’s readings are here.

Matthew 6:24-34

Reflection

“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?”

So obvious do the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel seem that we feel a bit foolish when we live otherwise. But in fact the most widespread and popular existential verb among us is the verb “to worry.”

When we worry, we always live one step ahead of life and therefore have no time to enjoy it. When we worry, we live full of anxiety about what is to come, and not full of gratitude for what is actually happening. We should all learn a little how to focus on the now and not to worry about the future. We should all return a little to reality and the present.

Those who worry no longer see the face of their wife or husband, children or friends, the blue sky or the bright summer rain. Those who worry see only problems to be solved and not things for which we can be grateful at the end of the day, whatever else might happen. Those who worry have no time to smile because “life is serious.” It’s so serious that there are days when we even wonder if in the end it’s really worth living like this.

Jesus is right, then, to remind us of a simple thing:

“Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

And each day has its sufficient grace as well. And the memory of grace consists in a very realistic realization: Most of what matters in our lives, we receive in a silent way, as the discreet gestures of Someone who takes care of us in the same way as He takes care of clothing a flower with beauty and making possible the flight and song of a bird in the sky.

“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?”

The problem is precisely our little faith/trust that it is really so.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese of Italy and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Aleteia is proud to offer this commentary on the readings for daily Mass, in collaboration with Fr. Epicoco.

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