The title of my homily for this 11th Saturday in Ordinary Time is, “Worry, Worry, Trouble, Trouble.”
I noticed in today’s gospel the word “worry” - that Jesus is telling his disciples to cut down on the worry. Stop worrying about what you are to eat. Stop worrying about what you are to wear.”
I remember being on a high school retreat this year and the kids were singing some song that had the words, “worry, worry, worry, trouble, trouble, trouble” in it,
So I typed in the Google Search engine box on my computer the words, “Song: Worry, Worry” and sure enough there was the song. It brought back the memory of hearing 40 kids - mostly teenage girls singing - with heart and with gestures, “Worry, Worry, Worry” and then the song continued with the words, “Trouble, Trouble, Trouble.” And I discovered last night what the kids were singing along to - a song - “Trouble” by Ray Lamontagne which has those words, “Worry, Worry, Worry…. Trouble, Trouble, Trouble.”
I wondered on the retreat and I wondered last night: do teens like the song because they can relate to the human condition of worrying - and we all have our troubles? My conclusion: nope, they don’t have enough worries yet and enough troubles yet. They have them - but I think they liked the song because or its beat and rhythms and it’s easy to act out and do drama and gesture with it. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe a lot of them have big troubles that I am not aware of.
In a way it doesn’t make a big difference between teenagers and adults, when it comes to troubles, because in the long run, worry, worry, trouble, trouble - is a reality and a song that echoes and sounds in every person. In fact I found 4 other songs with the same theme of worry, worry and trouble trouble.
So for a short homily thought for today: on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst, how worrisome am I?
Ooops! What hit me next was this: that question should draw a blank. It should draw a further more specific question like “Worried about what?”
Jesus challenges us on worries about food, drink, clothing - are good for starters.
Next could come relationships - and the future - and money and retirement, jobs, medical care and medical costs.
Next, I would assume that advertisements and political speech plays and spins on basic worries.
WHAT TO DO?
Well, in today’s gospel - still part of the Sermon on the Mount - Jesus gives three good basic strong messages that challenge us when we become worrisome or somewhat worried:
1) Deal with today, today. Don’t get stuck in tomorrow. Jesus puts it this way at the end of today’s gospel: “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” Easier said than done. AA puts it well with its simple message of a day at a time; a step at a time. Don’t be in
when you’re just getting on Route 97 at Annapolis.
We can often get ahead of ourselves and as a result, we can miss the gift of the present - and
that’s why it’s called the Present - as we’ve heard people put it..
2) Trust in what you got now and not what you don’t have now. Check out the birds of the air and the flowers of the fields. They seem to be doing fine. They are ours: like the sun the moon and stars, the earth and the waters. Trust in the
3) Get priorities straight. Try to live in the Kingdom - that’s the space that Jesus calls us to be alive in. It’s much more important than living in
America or Maryland
or Annapolis. Or
take what St. Paul
is saying in today’s first reading. Some people want to live in Bragsville.
Paul talks about himself in the third person - but he’s saying, “Look you who
brag about being in the know - or having a great spiritual life - or even for
having revelations - I had supersonic revelations - being brought up to the
third heaven - but what I’ll brag about is my weaknesses. I have a thorn in my
side that’s driving me crazy. Down through the history of the church people
have made that thorn a problem with lust or anger or pride or what have you.
Other scholars say it’s these folks in Corinth
who are driving him nuts - being on his back. He has his priorities straight,
so he ends up saying that he boasts of his weaknesses, he’s content with his
weaknesses, because when he is weak, he’s strong - because it’s then that he
relies on Jesus. Many people have hung onto the
words he said he received from the Lord: “My grace is sufficient for
you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”