In our first reading, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, we hear him tell his recent converts to faith in Jesus Christ – and we hear him tell us –“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

“Have no anxiety at all.” That’s easy to say but hard to do. We are anxious about our health, our jobs, our families, and today in particular, we are anxious about protecting innocent human life at its very vulnerable beginnings. But our faith in God challenges us to cast our cares upon the Lord because he cares for us. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was famous for saying that God does not call us to be successful but to be faithful.

Too often we are anxious because we are used to assuming that everything depends on us, that we are responsible for seeing to it that what we work on for God must turn out perfectly, completely, and soon. But God often calls us to begin or continue a work that will be fulfilled long after we are gone.

As one poet has said, we will plant trees in the shade of which others will sit, but we will not. We begin what others continue in the service of the kingdom of God.

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