“WHICH OF YOU BY WORRYING CAN ADD ONE…”

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

"Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Matthew 6:17).

How naive it is for a Christian to worry or to become severely anxious for things that are beyond our control. "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" Jesus asks. This means to a Christian believer and disciple of Christ, even if you take the utmost care, you can do nothing if God does NOT WILL IT. Why then do you drive yourself to exhaustion with worries? Our Lord continues with another question and asks, "So why do you worry about clothing" Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory wan not arrayed like one of these" (Matthew 6:28).

We are to finally understand that we, as creatures of God, depend totally on the Providence of God as is all of His creation. Persistent anxiety over things of this earthly world demonstrates internal insecurity and weak or superficial faith. All struggle and at times, out of fear, lose trust in God and in His wisdom. As one matures spiritually he or she becomes more dependent, not less, on God.

Saint Theophylact in his commentary writes: "He shames us not only by the birds, which lack reason but also by the lilies, that wither. For if God adorned the lilies in such a manner, without any necessity to do so, how much more will He fulfill our own need for clothing? He shows that though you go to great lengths, you are not able to be adorned as beautifully as the lilies. Even Solomon the most wise and splendid, with all his kingdom at his disposal, could not array himself in such a manner."

A Christian believer, however, is not one that does not care about making a living, or that he is lazy and does not work. Saint Paul writes, "If anyone will NOT work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). One needs to be responsible, industrious, and be willing not only to provide for himself but for family. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has given us a reason, logic, common sense, and the intelligence to invest the talents that our Creator has given him to increase that which God has given him. It is not enough to provide for his family but also to be able to provide for the poor and unable to work for themselves, i.e., the homeless, the infirmed, the widow, the orphans, the disabled, and those who are paralyzed. Saint James the holy Apostle and brother of the Lord says, "… if a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily bread, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does a profit" (James 2:15-16).

Self-pity is a negative and self-defeating attitude. It cripples, undermines, and drains all energy and initiative from a person. He or she loses all interest, ambition is debilitating. It becomes our worst foe in life. Instead, we need in faith to turn to our Most-Loving God and seek His wisdom and illumination. We turn to Him for He knows what we need:: " Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him" (Matthew 6:8).

Trust God and do not doubt Him. Let up pray to the Lord! Kyrie eleison.

Psalm 32

In You, O Lord I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me to Your
righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to
save me.

For You are my rock and my
fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s
sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which
they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand, I commit my
spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord
God of truth…"

God casts out fear. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:18). Redirect once attention to faith and the power of faith. Faith conveys confidence and courage. Historicly, our Holy Orthodox Church, provides myriads of examples of courage and heroism. Countless of men, women, and children became martyrs of the Faith. Holy Martyrs who were tortures, crucified, dismembered, swon in two, burned alive, tremple by horses, beheaded, thrown in the arena with wild beasts, thrown inside wells with serpents, thrown inside furnesses, boild in oil, and many other horific and barbaric torments. And yet they all suffered while they were singing hymns, psalms and glorifying God.

Our Lord is always present throughout our life. He never leaves or abandons us to the cruelty of the world. A world with many chalenges, suffering, agony and uncertainty. A world perhaps no different then the unpridictable and stormy sea of Galilee. Storms, whether those of nature, or of life frighthen us. We read in the Gospel of Saint John 6:18-21 about such a storm. "Then the sea arose because great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, "IT IS I DO NOT BE AFRAID. Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going." In the Gospel of Saint Luke 8:25, Jesus asks them, "Where is your faith? "…Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him". In the most difficult moments of life, FAITH unites us with Our Lord Christ, and gives us the strength necessary to confront our fears, storms, and problems in life.

Our Savior draws near to us to help us and it is up to us to receive Him humbly with an open heart. Love Him and surrender all your heart to Him, without restraint or fear. And God will find the means to help you find solutions to your perplexities and obstacles. If you love God, you will receive every blessing from Him. So, dear friend, offer your whole of yourself as a sacrifice to Him and you will find assurance, peace, strength, and courage.

To warry is a waste of time and unfruitful. If faith is your faith is weak listen to Jesus who says, "If you believe, ALL things are possible for him who believes." And, "immediately the father of the child cried out and said WITH TEARS, ‘I BELIEVE, HELP MY UNBELIEF" (Mark 9:23-24).

"G;lory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"

– SAint John Chrysostom

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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