“You're gonna have to serve somebody; well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody...” – Bob Dylan: (is an American singer-songwriter, artist and writer)
Gospel Text: (MT 6:24-34)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
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?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
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?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
The culture that surrounds modern persons in the West presumes that each person is his or her own boss. Modern Western culture teaches children from an early age that they are not meant to serve anyone or anything. In fact, both God and mammon serve me and my needs!
However, while the modern person may believe such ideas, so strongly reinforced as they are by modern culture, Jesus is offering a caution. In fact, most of today’s Gospel passage is about the dangers of believing that mammon can serve oneself.
What begins in one’s mind as the idea of mammon serving oneself eventually ends in the servitude of the self to mammon. The slave that mammon is thought to be becomes the master of the self. This is the crippling servitude that Jesus is diagnosing, so to speak, through the examples He offers in this passage.
Instead, Jesus invites us to enter into a relationship with God as our Lord and Master. This relationship of serving God is radically different than that in which one ends up serving mammon. In the relationship that Jesus invites us to, through serving God, we become His “friends” (see John 15:15) and His “beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1).