Gospel – Matthew 6:24-34

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.

“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?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
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?
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.
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.”

Reflection on Sunday Gospel

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…

In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples that “you cannot serve both God and mammon.” The word ‘mammon’ is a Hebrew word that means “the stuff of the earth” or “that in which we put our trust.” The heart of the Gospel message today is a clear challenge to make a good choice. Are we fixed on our God above in heaven or are we more focused on the “stuff of the earth”? In his classic text on the nature of discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship that Christians ought to have a “single minded obedience” to Christ in living their discipleship. One might say like the tightrope walker, we are to keep our eyes fixed on what lay ahead and not be swaying by the ‘stuff’ that is around us that might distract us from reaching our end goal. Are we walking towards God or mammon in our life?

On Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent. The Church presents us with 40 days to refocus our lives, to rededicate ourselves to living Christian discipleship with a single-minded obedience to God. We can engage in forms of prayer, fasting and abstinence to help us choose God over mammon in our spiritual lives. As we sing our last Alleluias today until Easter, may our journey of this Lent teach us how to choose God over mammon. May the holiness of these coming 40 days inspire us to always walk with Christ, to love our neighbor, to serve our students, and ultimate find the joy that comes only from loving and following God. I hope and pray that all of you who may read this reflection will fix your Lenten journey on God above and avoid the distractions of mammon. Alleluia!

St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!

Mr. Christopher M. Barczak
Calvert Hall College – Religion Faculty/Lasallian Animator