Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon given by Father Pancras Sept. 15, 2019
“Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what shall you put on. …. For your Father knoweth you have need of all these things” (Math. 6: 25, 32)
One of the most consoling and salutary directions given by Our Lord in his sermon on the mount is that man should not be solicitous for his temporal existence.” If the heavenly Father feeds the birds of the air, and clothes the lilies of the fields, how much more will he care for the wants of his children!
We must not, however, understand that Our Lord condemns reasonable diligence and honest labour in acquiring our maintenance and corporal sustenance, nor that he is forbidding even prudent provision for the future.
What he does forbid is that unreasonable anxiety, that pagan solicitude, that unrest and worry for the things of the earth which really proceed from a lack of faith and trust in God and his providence.
Neither must we think that because God knows our wants there is no necessity of asking him to provide for them. God desires our prayers. He himself has taught us to ask him for Spiritual and temporal blessings in the “Our father.”
1 Spiritual blessings asked for in the fourth petition of the Lord’s prayer
“Give us this day our daily bread”
Since the soul, like the body, needs nourishment, and is more important than the body, we pray first in this petition for our spiritual needs and sustenance.
The food of the soul is first of all the word of God as said by Our lord in Math 4: 4, and in Lk. 4; 4 – quoting Deuteronomy Ch. 8: 3 “Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” By the Word of God, we are enabled to know our duties to our Creator, to ourselves, and to our neighbour. This word of god, which is the teaching of the Gospel, comes to us through preaching, religious instruction, pious reading, and the like.
The Most Holy Eucharist is in a special manner the food of our soul. It is also called “Our Bread”, because it belongs to the catholic faithful alone; it is “Our Daily Bread”, as being offered for us every day in the Holy Mass and should be received every day by the catholic faithful.
2 Temporal blessings asked for in the fourth petition of the Lord’s prayer
“Give us this day our daily bread”
1 In this petition we ask for the needs of the body, in order that god may bless our efforts in earning “Our Daily Bread.”
2 The temporal blessings designated by the word “bread” are simply those things which are necessary for our temporal life; luxuries and great riches are not included, since the spirit of the gospel is detachment from the things of earth.
3 The term “Daily” is used to remind us that we should not be uneasy or worried regarding the future, since this distracts the soul from spiritual things, and that we should not desire for the present what is immoderate, since life is short and our true home is above, i. e., the real life is “eternal” not “temporal.” But those who are striving for acquiring salvation and sanctification are never in want of their daily bread!
1 We should thank God every day of our life for temporal blessings, especially after meals.
2 The best way honestly to succeed, even in temporal affairs, is to be religious; those who are good are never in want of their daily bread. Here again note that Our Lord directs us not to pray for abundance and luxuries, bur for enough to sustain our temporal life, and to help us to prepare for the eternal life.
3 The social unrest of today is mainly due to an inordinate desire for temporal things to the extent of the neglect of spiritual things. This feverish craving for abundance is the root of the unrest and unhappiness of our age. The tendency now is to make this world and this temporal life the end and goal of our existence, to get all our pleasure and happiness here on earth!
This wrong notion of man’s existence on earth was first propagated and accepted indirectly in the name of the so called “Christian Religion” by the protestant heresy; and now systematically spread throughout the world by the atheistic communism of Russia, We see the full effect of it in all our families and even inside the Catholic Hierarchy.
What is the solution?
Our Lord says: “Be not solicitous for your life; seek ye the kingdom of God.” It means – be emptied of the spirit of the world; and be filled with the spirit of Jesus Christ. Let us seek first the kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto us.