8th Sunday of the Year: Do not worry!

worry

Study: Reflect on a time when worry and anxiety overwhelmed you.  What broke the cycle and restored your perspective?

Pray: Is there something that you are worried about right now?  Bring it to prayer and ask the Lord for guidance and peace in your heart.

Serve: Do you know someone who is overly anxious?  How can you help comfort, calm and support them?

Mass Readings – 8th Sunday of the Year

Worry, worry, worry!  How often are we caught up in the anxieties, cares, stresses, and distractions of life!  How easy it is to get spun up by things (often far outside our control) and waste time and energy that could be spent in a much more fruitful manner.

Here’s a quick overview of the readings:

  • 1st Reading – The Lord says, “I will never forget you.”
  • Psalm – “Rest in God alone, my soul.”
  • 2nd Reading – We are servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries
  • Gospel – “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow can take care of itself!”

Of course, just saying “Do not worry!” is not enough.  It’s a simple sentence yet often difficult to put into practice.  Why?  Because there are many things in life we care about, and that natural concern – if left unattended – can take on a life of its own.  When we let our natural cares run out of control we lose our perspective, and in turn we start to focus on the wrong priorities.

Yes, there are things that we need to worry about: making sure that our basic needs are met, attending to the natural cares of ourselves and our loved ones, doing the necessary planning and preparation so that life flows smoothly.  This is part of our daily work, and as such we make the effort to do our best.

Here’s a simple question that I find often helps determine if I should worry about something: “Do I have any power to change or influence this situation?”  If the issue in question is within my influence and control, then perhaps it is something that I need to attend to.  But if the issue is outside my influence, then perhaps I need to let it go…worrying about it will only waste my life!

Easier said than done.  That’s why I believe Jesus took the time to talk about this “useless worry” with his disciples.  The Lord knows our hearts and understands how worry can overtake our lives.

So today, if we discover that worry is wasting our time and attention, may we call upon the grace of God to let it go and trust that the Lord will give us what we need to face the cares of life.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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