BILINGUAL REFLECTIONS FOR SUNDAY
8th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (A) Matthew 6: 24-34 February 26, 2017
“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”
Every now and then we hear in the news that a newborn child has been found abandoned only few hours after the birth, and thanks to the tenderness and compassion of some people has been taken to a hospital to save the infant´s life. Our first feeling is, “How can a mother do such a thing and be without human sense of respect for her infant´s life?” What we hear, in this day and age might sound incredible, we sadly realize is truth. For the prophet Isaiah, even if it could seem unbelievable too, was possible for human beings, but never for God.
Other cases are not as criminal but still merciless. A teenage mother, after a couple of weeks of her son delivery, carefully took the babe to a hospital entrance hall making sure that the infant was fed and warm enough in the baby basket. When she left the baby behind, the security guard saw her and called the police. Being asked by the authorities the reason for that irresponsible action, the mother argued that she was a single-parent and afraid of not having the resources to take care of her child.
Our society today suffers a common crisis and it is the lack of faith that we could call the doubt syndrome, and that lack of faith is as well a lack of hope. Many people today, who are close to despair, do not live the present time with hope, because they are afraid of the future. Despair could easily take people to clinical depression. If people do not seek pastoral and clinical help they simply end up, as a way of escape, in drugs, alcohol, and even worse, suicide.
The Israelites in exile at Isaiah´s time would translate despair, loneliness, and hopelessness in the way they lamented, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” They felt devastated, away from home and from their beloved God, represented in the Temple of Jerusalem, by that time laid in ruins. At that depressing moment the prophet addressed to them, at the end of the exile, in the most consoling and tender words, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”
The promise of Jesus to his disciples in the sermon of the mount goes on the same line of trust of the gentle icon of mother and child of Second Isaiah, the support and tender care of God that invites us to put aside worries and anxiety. In dealing with the anxiety of the community of the Corinthians, Paul invites them not to lose hope, but to trust God, “Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”
We all know that we require material recourses to provide for our needs and those of the others. The problem is when needs take on such importance that they lead us to excessive apprehension and anxiety. Jesus teaches us that it is a matter of priorities. When worry comes as a main concern, the sense of God´s providence is lost. But if God is first, the other concerns, Jesus mentions life, food, drink, and clothing, while necessary to take care of, have a less important value. Now, if we are important for God, he will provide for us his children.
God does not forget us, but we should not forget him either. Confident prayer is so important, especially at time of trial and uncertainty; the prayer of trust is essential, like the one I would suggest you to daily pray, “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today, that you and I together cannot handle.” Even as we are concern about many things, we must never worry; neither to be anxious.