Worried? … Monday, July 29

Worried!

“Oh, great. Now what?”Worried!

A Rosary Meditation … The First Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation. “When she heard him she was troubled at his word … ” Luke 1:29. In this scripture Mary has just been told by the angel Gabriel that she will have a baby. Something like that ought to be good news. Of course, given Mary’s vow of perpetual virginity, we can understand her being troubled. But, setting that fact aside for just a moment, think about it. How many times have we received good news and been worried about it because we either misunderstood or didn’t have all the facts? It’s easy to do, being human and all. But why do we so easily jump to a negative conclusion? Granted we aren’t all natural worriers, but enough of us are, at least part of the time, to make this sort of thing familiar to most if not all of us. So why do we do it? Have we been conditioned by the media to expect the worst? (Yes.) Is it simply a matter of  negative attitude? (Maybe.) Do we subconsciously think we deserve only the short end of the stick? (Possibly.) Maybe a little bit of all these things and several more. Personally I think that the bottom line can be summed up, given all the possibilities and probabilities, in one word. Training. From childhood on we are all more or less trained to expect the worst. And just how often does the worst happen? Well, how many times have I ( and trust me, I was trained by my grandmother who would’ve, had worry been an Olympic event, brought home the gold Olympiad after Olympiad ) thought to myself, “Oh, great, now … “, fill in the blank after that. But Mother Mary, just a little while after having been troubled at the news she had received from Gabriel, gives us the antidote to worry and a troubled mind. “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38a. It’s OK to worry a little, God knows we’re human so we may as well admit it too. The point being: After the initial reaction of trouble or worry its time to leave it in His hands and rest in that.

Today …

St. Martha

St. Martha

St. Martha. She might easily be considered the patroness of worriers. Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and His disciples into her home and immediately goes to work to serve them. Hospitality is paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Imagine her frustration when her sister Mary ignores the rule of hospitality and Martha’s work, and all the attendant worries, in order to sit and listen to Jesus. Instead of speaking to her sister, she asks Jesus to intervene. And that’s not a bad place to go with our frustrations and worries.  Jesus’ response is not unkind, which gives us an idea of His affection for her. He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to Him. He reminds her that there is only one thing that is truly important — being with and listening to Him. And that is what Mary has done. In Martha we see ourselves — worried and distracted by all we have to do in the world and the world itself while forgetting to spend time with Jesus. It is, however, comforting to note that Jesus loved her, despite her worrying, just the same.

Jesus says … “And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit?” Matthew 6:27. So why worry about it?

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