18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart?” Why is it so difficult to listen to Jesus? Isn’t that what our Heavenly Father asked us to do? Didn’t he say, “This is my Beloved Son, listen to him?” Didn’t our sweet beloved Mother say to us to do whatever Jesus asks us to do? Didn’t the Lord say, he was the Good Shepherd and his sheep hear his voice and follow him? And, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts?” Why don’t we listen to God? Why don’t we listen to Jesus? Why don’t we listen to the Holy Spirit? Why don’t we listen to our Mother Mary? Why don’t we obey our parents? Jesus calls us to a radical freedom. Free from sin, free from stress, free from worry, free from anxiety, free to simply be loved by God. Listening to God and obeying his Word is freedom. It is the right thing to do. The only way to live freely at peace. Don’t you want to be free? Is freedom a possibility for you? Are you living in the freedom of the children of God or are you living as a slave of doubt, discouragement, fear? Are you concerned about what people think or worried about what they might say or afraid about what they would do if you said the wrong thing, made a mistake or they knew you didn’t know the answer? Will you worry about today, be concerned about yesterday, be afraid of tomorrow all the days of your life? Saint Paul gives us encouragement by saying, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” In other words, why worry? Acknowledge your concern and in prayer related to God and ask for the strength, the trust, the grace to be anxiety free. Saint Peter also offers us his wisdom by saying, “Cast all your worries upon [God] because he cares for you.” Once again, don’t worry about it. Simply give it to God and trust he’s got it. Finally, Jesus gives us the words that speak directly to the heart and speak directly to us when he says to you, “Why are you anxious about clothes? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” He says, “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” So don’t worry, be free – listen to Jesus.