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Don’t worry

A man was worrying too much over his problems, sleepless at night. Upon the advice of a friend, he tried the old remedy of counting sheep while getting some sleep.

The trouble was when he had reached counting 3000 sheep, it was time to get up in the morning!

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Part of the gospel of this 8th Sunday Jesus teaches is about not worrying and putting more trust in God. Jesus says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Mt 6, 25-27).

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When Jesus teaches that we should learn from the lilies of the field and from the birds of the sky, he is saying that God, in his Providence, takes care of us. “Are not you of much more value than they?” He says.

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The writer J.C. Holland once made this insight about God’s Providence: “God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest. If you observe the birds, they work hard scraping food here and there in order to feed their nestlings.

Hence, when the Lord says “Don’t worry,” he does not mean “Don’t work.”

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Following Jesus’ teaching on worrying, there are some who object. “You mean to say I should not worry if my creditors are running after me over my two-million peso debt?” Or, “should I not worry if I’m on the verge of losing my job”?

Or “this lump on my neck is diagnosed as terminal cancer”?

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These should be cause for worry, indeed. But we must distinguish two things: worry and concern. WORRY is an emotional response that is stressful and draining. It is also problem-oriented.

CONCERN, on the other hand, is a rational and constructive process – and it is SOLUTION-ORIENTED.

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As regards unpaid debt, I know of some people who through sheer diligence and financial restraint were able to gradually wipe off their obligation.

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Admittedly, there are situations that are beyond human control. The unexpected death of a loved one, an incurable sickness, a devastating typhoon, to mention some. In such cases, we just have to accept them in faith. As someone rightly said, “Don’t worry about things you can’t do anything about.”

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The German theologian Reinhold Niebuhr beautifully puts it, thus: “God, grant me SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can change, and WISDOM to know the difference (between the two).”

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So? Don’t worry to death. Do your best and God will do the rest.

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LAFF ONE ANOTHER. An employer once told a newly-hired employee: “Your job is simple. I’ll solve problems; you do the worrying. You’ll get P30,000 monthly for this job”.

“That’s easy,” replied the employee, “but where will you get that big amount? Your company is losing!” “That’s yourfirst worry,” retorted the boss.

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APPEAL. Please help the needy seminarians we’re supporting under our “Adopt a Seminarian” scholarship program. For inquiries, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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Let’s support our seminarians. We cannot have priests, bishops and popes without them. (Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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