Message to the English speaking Catholic Community in Gozo
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On Sunday, Gozo Bishop Mgr Mario Grech celebrated Mass for the English Speaking Catholic Community (ESCC) at the chapel of the Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
This community regularly meets on Sundays at 10.00. Rev. Can. Loreto Tabone is the chaplain of this community. In his homily Bishop Grech shared the following reflection:
“Jesus truly is the Son of God and the Son of man. As Son of God Jesus he reveals to us the truth about God the Father; as son of man, he shares with us some very interesting insights about the human person. Today’s gospel (Mt 6, 24-34) is a case in point.
Jesus sheds light on one of our major current problems: anxiety. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes “worry collects treasures and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure our lives with earthly goods; we want our worrying to make us worry-free, but the truth is the opposite.” Thus he rightly concludes: “Do not worry about tomorrow’ – that is either cruel ridicule of the poor and suffering ..; it is either an intolerable law that people will reject and detest or it is the unique gospel proclamation of the freedom of God’s children, who have a Father in heaven, who has given them the gift of his dear Son” (The cost of discipleship, 165).
But quite often we fail to trust in God because we suspect that God suffers from dementia – another common mental disorder in our days! We might think that God has an impaired memory – he forgets all about me! Unfortunately we are not spared from the Zion syndrome underlined by Isiah: “Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” In this event we need to listen to the assuring words of the prophet: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you” (49:14-15). How is it possible that He who created me, is going to fail to remember me! God loves us so dearly that his Providence will never fall short.
In today’s Gospel Jesus stresses that although birds do not sow or reap and gather nothing into barns, “yet your heavenly Father feeds them”. He also notes that wild flowers “do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour 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?”
These assuring statements should really astonish us! Although birds do not sow or reap and have empty barns; although wild flowers do not work or spin, yet God does not forsake them! He does not turn his face away from those who have “empty barns.” Conversely he continues to love them and patiently assist them. If God is so generous with lazy birds and wild flowers, do you think that he is going to show the door to those of us who are spiritually lazy and wild? I do not think that He is going to drop out those who have difficulty to “sow or reap” and thus have empty barns or those who are slow or disheartened to “spin” their “nuptial dress!” I am confident that because He is God, He will continue to accompany each one of us. Once we acknowledge and experience his copious grace and love, then we will work, sow, reap and spin.
It is spiritually gratifying to note that Jesus also cares for those who have “little faith.” At times we are discouraged because of our poor spiritual life and moral standards. We might imagine that to stand in God’s presence we must be spiritually strong! But behold: Jesus has concern also for those who have little faith!
The secret of all this lays in Jesus’s recommendation: “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”