Throughout the season of Lent, we’re featuring the Millennial Lenten Reflection Series, co-sponsored by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Franciscan Mission Service. Each small reflection will be written by a young person, focusing on that day’s Mass reading. You can sign up for the series here.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25).
In today’s Gospel, the rich man ‘did not worry’ and was wealthy in his lifetime. Although Lazarus was his neighbor, he ‘did not worry’ about Lazarus, who suffered incredibly during his lifetime. Ultimately, where Lazarus and the rich man ended up were as different as heaven and hell, literally.
‘Do not worry’ does not mean to be complacent—quite the opposite. God calls us to love unconditionally. This means to be on the side of justice and compassion. It means our hearts break open and we respond to injustice so that neither Lazarus nor the rich man suffers.
We don’t do this for an eternal reward, just as the rich man didn’t ignore Lazarus because he wanted to suffer eternally. We do this because we know our small part matters in God’s grand story. We know that how we live indicates what happens after, so we do not worry about what happens after—that’s God’s job. Our job is to be present, pray, reflect, and act. The rest is up to God.
Do not worry.
Marcia Lee is co-director of Cap Corps Midwest, a program of the Capuchin Franciscans. Participants live intentionally with each other and work with non-profits based in the United States and Latin America. She is also a restorative justice practitioner, loves Detroit, and works to create a more just and compassionate world.