Give Us This Day - reflection on Mass readings for today

Today I read the following in the Give Us This Day iOS app and it spoke to me very deeply, especially as I've been reflecting on personal fears recently in the context of the book by Bro. David Steindl-Rast osb, "Gratefulness, the heart of prayer".

At the Heart of the Invitation

Our world seems to run on the fuel of fear. Simply watching or reading the news can fill our tanks with enough anxiety-provoking material to keep us running for days. Work and family concerns, fretfulness over jobs and money, disquiet about health, and apprehension over other things can turn us into nervous wrecks. Constant worry is exhausting, and that exhaustion typically leads to more angst.

Jesus offers a clear warning that might be easy for anxious people to miss. Do we think we’re off the hook because we are not out “carousing” or getting drunk? Not so fast. It seems that the “anxieties of daily life” are on the watch list as well, and that is a net likely to catch many.

It could be easy to take Jesus’ words literally, almost as a threat. That might incite even more fear and less faith! Words like “trap” and “assault” invite trepidation. Can we reimagine his words as an invitation instead?

Setting a goal of being anxiety-free is unrealistic. Turning to God with our concerns and handing them over to God is at the heart of this Gospel. Jesus is with us to share the burden, making the load lighter.

Can we allow Jesus to free of us of our addiction to worry? Letting go would reduce our burden and relieve us of the self-focus of needless fear, transforming our worry into the vigilance required for life in Christ.

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn, a writer and speaker focusing on the intersection of spirituality and daily life, lives in Clifton Park, New York. Visit her blog “There Will Be Bread” at

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