Home  |  About Us  |  Contacts  |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, Oct. 2, 2011

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service


October 2, Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A Readings:

1) Isaiah 5:1-7

Psalm 80:9, 12-16, 19-20

2) Philippians 4:6-9

Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43

In this week's second reading from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians, we are told to have no anxiety at all. As I read this I thought, "Have you seen today's paper?"

Whether in the television news, the daily paper, on the radio or Internet blogs, there are constant reminders of troubling things happening these days. From earthquakes and hurricanes to flooding and wildfires, to unemployment and a collapsed economy, to famine and war, not to mention personal struggles with relationships and illnesses, there sure is a lot of reason to freak out a bit.

The Scripture reading brought to mind a song from the 1980s, "Don't Worry Be Happy." But with all this stuff going on, simply not worrying and being happy seems an ostrichlike, head-in-the-sand kind of attitude.

As I kept reading St. Paul's letter, I discovered that the message is not so much that we are not to worry, rather it is more this: Instead of worrying, try praying and petitioning God with thanksgiving. If we do this, instead of the fear and unease that come with anxiety, we will receive "the peace of God that surpasses all understanding." As if this were not enough, St. Paul says this peace will also guard our hearts and minds in Jesus.

I remember one time when I faced a huge decision. The consequences of the choice would affect many people and would quite possibly change my life dramatically. I fretted over all the possible scenarios and implications for weeks. My mind and my heart were doing battle, with my desires and loyalties as weapons. Round and round options and opportunities swirled in my mind. I shared this with a friend, and she said, "Don't think about it, just do what you can and trust the Holy Spirit."

I think this is the message from St. Paul. Worrying can drive us crazy, but if we let go of our need to be in control and offer our heartfelt prayers to God, peace will come. That doesn't mean the problems go away or that the going will get easier; it is just a promise that God will walk with us and bring us peace on the journey.

QUESTIONS:

How do you typically handle stressful situations? How has your faith helped in these situations? What are some things you can do to let go of the worry and trust in God?



SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

END



Copyright © 2011 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS Word To Life column may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.

Questions about this Web site. Send to cns@catholicnews.com.
Copyright © 2011 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250