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8th Sun Ordinary time -Year A

20 February, 2017

 –  26 – 2 – 2017 –

Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel reading: Matthew 6:24-34
vs.24  Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.
vs.25  That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what y ou are to eat, not about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing!
vs.26  Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are?
vs. 27  Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life?
vs.28  And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin;
vs.29  yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these.
vs.30  Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, we he not much more look after you, you men of little faith?
vs.31  So do not worry; do not say, ‘What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?’
vs.32 It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.
vs.33  Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well
vs.34  So do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

do not worry

We have four sets of homily notes to choose from.
Please scroll down the page.

Michel DeVerteuil :      A Trinidadian Holy Ghost Priest, Specialist in Lectio Divina
Thomas O’Loughlin: 
  Professor of Historical Theology, University of Wales. Lampeter.
John Littleton:              
Director of the Priory Institute Distant Learning, Tallaght
Donal Neary SJ:          
Editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger    

Michel DeVerteuil
Lectio Divina with the Sunday Gospels

General comments

This Sunday’s text is in two parts.

– The first issue raised in today’s passage is stated in verse 24. The text reminds us that we need to make a choice in life, and decide what is the most important thing we need to be truly succeessful. Which of two loyalties are we going to be bound by – is it the God we believe in,  or is it money, which, as the bible explains, is the source of all that is evil in the world?

We look at the world as we see it. We have to make our choice. If we decide that God is first, then we will have a choice on what really counts. If money is our first choice, then things will be very different. What is the most important thing in my life? What counts more than all others for me?

Giving ourselves fully to what we believe in will involve a certain amount of money – but  how much is really necessary?

  • How do I ensure that I do well myself, I who have my own special needs and shortcomings to look after?
  • How do I make sure that all is well not only for me but for my spouse or partner?
  • How do I make sure that my children will have the best possible opportunities?
  • How can I help my friends and other people I know to be the best that they can be, taking all aspects of life into consideration?
  • How can I contribute to my society and to the world as best as I can, materially and spiritually? I must of course, know my limitations, but I could surely do more.

-. The second part of the passage is in verses 25 to 32, reminding us that we must choose between the presence of God and our own security.  With God we will be free to do what we want, he will look after us.

We take the birds in the sky as an example. “They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them”. And “are we not worth much more than they are?” Can we of our own accord add anything, even “one single cubit,” to our span of life?

And why worry about our clothing?  We look at the flowers which grow in the fields – they never have to work nor to spin. Yet  not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass in the fields, that are there today and thrown in the furnace tomorrow, will he not look after us, we who are people of very little faith.

We need not worry therefore. We do not need to ask questions like: what are we to eat,what are we to drink, how are we to be clothed? It is unbelieving pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Our heavenly Father knows we need them all.

We must therefore set our hearts on two things. There is first of all, the very fact of God’s Kingdom. Then there is “his righteousness” and everything that means for us. Once we can look at these things, then everything else will be given us as well.

Jesus draws two conclusion: do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. The second is also very simple: each day has enough trouble for us to worry about.

Non-aggressive physically, but dynamically aggressive spiritually.” …Martin Luther King

Lord, we thank you that you have put before us our double loyalty, to you or to money.
Help us, Lord, to keep our values straight so that we can make the right decisions.
You must wait for the eye of the soul to be formed in you.
Religious truth is reached, not by reasoning but by inward perception.

Any one can reason; only disciplined, educate formed minds can perceive.
” …John Henry Newman

We thank you for what you have done for us.
We think of the birds of the air and the grass in the fields.
We thank you that tomorrow will take care of itself
and that each day has trouble of its own for us to worry about.

“Whether it is the surface of Scripture, or the natural form of nature,
both these things serve to clothe the Christ.
They are both veils that mask the radiance of the faith
while at the same time reflecting his beauty.” …John Scotus Eriugena

Lord, we thank  you for the words your Son spoke to his disciples on the Mount;
we pray that they will always reveal to us
the greatness of his teaching on how we are to live our lives and relate with one another.

“The hand on which the Eucharist is carried is not to be stained by the blood of the sword.” …St Cyprian

Lord teach us in life to value what is the important thing in our lives.
Help us to recognise what really counts for us
as we venerate your Body and Blood here among us.
Help us discover what truly counts in our relationship with one another
and with the world and then what we now know counts for nothing at all.


Thomas O’Loughlin
Liturgical Resources for the Year of Matthew


Homily notes


John Littleton
Journeying through the year of Matthew




Donal Neary SJ:  
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew

God cares for what God creates

The gospel tells the story of lilies of the field and birds of the air after we are told that we can’t serve God and money. God reminds us that he cares for us through weak things like flowers and birds, not money.

He praises poverty of mind and heart. A famous spiritual writ­er said while on retreat, ‘I had a terrible sense of being inade­quate. Not up to it. Full of weakness*. Another said, Don t be afraid you are inadequate, not up to it, full of weakness. Makes you know your need for care, and the call to care for each other .

God’s message always remembers the poor. Billions are starv­ing and homeless today. Our prosperity and our wealth is for the glory of God too. We are to let money serve us. The main way we know that God cares is that people care for each other. We find that in all sorts of ways. This is always the big message of the gospel. It is not enough to pray, to meditate, just for its own sake. All is for the service of love in big and small ways.

Just remember you are worth more than anything around you, you are the image of God – and so is everyone else!

Picture someone very poor, weak, in trouble.
With that picture in mind, repeat the words ‘God cares for us all‘.
Lord, after I have rested in your presence,
send me out in your loving service.