Do not worry about your life

Do not worry about your life

A reflection by Fred Schaeffer, OFS

In today’s Gospel, we find a reading by Mat. 6:24-34, which is very practical advice. I am thinking of a family I know where both husband and wife are working. They can barely make ends meet. Sometimes they do not even have enough money to put gasoline in their cars, yet without cars they could not get to their jobs. Actually, there are many people these days where money is extremely tight, and life is full of worries. Government’s promise of economic prosperity does not apply to the working poor, and definitely not to the retired. They keep plodding along and they hope they will do alright. The Lord tells us not to worry about what you will eat or drink or what you will wear. “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?  Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” [Mt. 6:26-27] The Lord tells us not to worry, nor be anxious about things we cannot change. In my 77 years, I have never gone hungry, come close, but there was always help. In v. 30: “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” Human beings are the pinnacle of His Creation, we far exceed the value of grass or weeds, so (v.31 ff) do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’” He provides. Our Father in Heaven knows what we need, and He provides what we need. He always has.


As I sit here on a very hot Saturday afternoon, writing my thoughts down, I count my blessings because outside it feels like over 100 F, inside it’s about 77 thanks to air conditioning. What about those who cannot pay for the electricity it takes to run an air conditioner? I don’t even want to think about it, but there are folks who really cannot afford it. One has to budget one’s income, to make it reach, and the Lord will provide. He gives us the intellect needed to determine what is important, and what is less urgent. No budget is any good unless it is carefully thought out and followed. Ask the Lord to help you stick to your budget.


Life is all about priorities. The most important priority is to love the Lord your God. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Mt. 22:37, one of many quotations about loving God in the Bible, with these words. Unless we love Him and honor Him, many things in life will not come true. But if we do love Him, many things fall into place. I feel secure, and generally content. I drive a 25-year-old car, whose air conditioner hasn’t worked in two years, it’ll get fixed one of these days, but as long as it runs, it’s OK by me. You’ll find that when you are retired, buying a new car is often not an option. Since I need the car for driving to Church, to the market and sometimes to the doctor, it is an expense that can wait a while. There are always alternatives. The Lord provides. What I’m saying is, don’t worry about another car until there is no other choice but to buy one. Many folks make their lives miserable by worrying ahead of time. Planning is sound practice but don’t be over-anxious about it. Not planning leads to foolish and unnecessary expenses or ending up without cash when it is needed (like at the end of the week or month just before a payday).


When the well really runs dry, ask a friend for help. That’s what friends do to me, and then there are other friends who volunteer to help me. I am grateful for their faith and their example. I ask His blessings on all of them and on you.



Fred Schaeffer, OFS

A Gift of a New Life
A Biography
by Fred Schaeffer, OFS 2019

Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

Divine Mercy Fraternity

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