by Sister Annette Koss
Mammon is a neutral reference to property or anything of value. In the Gospel, mammon is presented forcefully by Matthew as a false idol, an obstacle to an intimate relationship with God. When we are engrossed with the acquisition of material goods, we are possessed by them. There is not enough room in our hearts to be possessed by God and mammon; so it is far better to be possessed by God. When I focus too much on security issues, I'm really serving a master; I am giving service to a false God that can never bring fulfillment.
Jesus invites us to trust and not to worry. To worry is to have split attention, to have a divided concern. Worry is the way we protect ourselves from getting hurt. It is also the way we look ahead to solve problems and imagine solutions.
Not to worry about material goods is to gain freedom. God is asking me not to let externals drive my choices and anxieties. I won't be able to attend to the poor and oppressed if caught up in my own needs.
"The grass of the field" is a common phrase that means something is worthless. Something we might possess is breathtaking beauty but it is only transitory. In the end it is insignificant, thrown into the fire and used for fuel. If God lavishly clothes the grass that in the end will be used for fuel, how much more will he lavish his treasures on us.
Thanks Annette. I needed your words to ponder right now. They helped in decision making.
Being of retirement age, with not much in reserve except Social Security, I'm tempted to worry about what will happen if I get very old, or sick, and unable to care for myself. What helps is to stay close to the Lord in prayer and Scripture, because then I'm reminded over and over that God loves us and will care for us. Besides, all we have is today. We may be worrying about a future that will never come.
Thanks Annette. It helps me to put my Franciscan values in place.
Thanks, Nettie, for a refreshing look at Matthew's Gospel. I need to remember your thoughts on those sleepless nights. Peace.
Annette, You expressed well what can be one of the focuses for me during this Lent. It is so easy to get caught up in people and things, forgetting that God cares for all.