Are you a worrier? Then listen up to this weekend’s readings! Jesus tells us to keep our worries in perspective, because God’s got our back.
by Jerry Windley-Daoust
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Rest in God alone, my soul.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
The one who judges me is the Lord.
“Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?”
You can read the full text of this Sunday’s readings here:
Are you a worrier? Then this Sunday’s readings are for you!
In the first short reading from the prophet Isaiah, Israel laments that God has forgotten her. Not true, says the prophet. Isaiah compares the care that God has for his people to the care that a mother has for her infant. It’s an image of intimate protection and nurturing.
Jesus likewise admonishes us not to worry so much; after all, worrying and stressing out doesn’t do a single thing for us.
Easier said than done, right? Just how are we supposed to stop worrying about that impending operation, starting a new school, or paying bills with money we don’t have? Jesus tells us to serve God rather than “mammon” (corrupt wealth), and the psalm response likewise urges us to “rest in God alone.”
What about that second reading? We’re continuing to make our way through 1 Corinthians, and this week, Paul is once again defending himself from the accusations of rivals in the church. But notice how his defense fits in neatly with the theme of the other readings: Paul’s not worried about human judgment, but the judgment of God alone.
Here’s an idea for this week: Print out the text from this week’s responsorial psalm and post it prominently in your home.
What worries you? What would you like to say to God about your worries?
The psalm response urges us to “rest in God alone.” Do you do this?
Do you find it difficult to turn your worries over to God? What would help you let go of your worries and trust God more?
Look at the text of the Gospel again. Notice that it begins with the saying of Jesus that no one can serve God and “mammon,” a word that is defined as “wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion.” Jesus then directs our gaze to the simple lives of birds and wildflowers.
Does your lifestyle reflect this level of simplicity? Which “master” has greater hold on you? How can you tell?
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”