the lord of lifestyle
"Stop worrying, then, over questions like, 'What are we to eat, or what are we to drink, or what are we to wear?' The unbelievers are always running after these things." —Matthew 6:31-32
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us that we cannot serve two masters (Mt 6:24). He means we cannot give ourselves to God and money (Mt 6:24). In saying "giving ourselves to money," Jesus means "worrying about our livelihood." We are not to worry about what we are to eat, drink, or wear (Mt 6:25). If we do, Jesus accuses us of having weak faith and acting like unbelievers (Mt 6:30-32).
In a society preoccupied with a pleasure-seeking lifestyle, Jesus' words are very threatening. We are continually thinking of creature comforts and petty pleasures. The average American has the most affluent lifestyle in the world. We have worked for years to get what we have. Now Jesus tells us we were wrong.
Since we are "blinded by the god of the present age," the god of lifestyle (2 Cor 4:4), we find it difficult to take seriously Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (see Lk 16:14-15). We are like the rich man's brothers who would not have opened their eyes and changed their lifestyle even if the beggar Lazarus had been raised from the dead (Lk 16:31). We need a miracle. We need the Spirit to convict us of our sins (Jn 16:8) and crucify us to the world (Gal 6:14). Ask the Spirit to do this.
Prayer: Father, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, free me from my cultural blind spots.
Promise: "My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection." —2 Cor 12:9
Praise: Joan has worked full time for the Lord for over twenty years — without salary or welfare. Jesus has provided for all of her needs.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tapes Living In Reality on audio AV 38-1, AV 38-3, AV 39-1, AV 39-3 or our two-tape video series starting with V-38.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002