Don’t worry, be happy – Matthew 6:24-34

This text must be read as a composite unit. While it may seem to be two issues at hand verse 24 serves to state the issue while verses 25- 34 serve as the solution. Sadly, the titles to these scripture texts as they appear in our Bibles create an artificial and fallacious impression that these are two teaching; in reality they are one.

Society has changed a great deal since the time of Jesus. Definitions of poverty, wealth, and the good life are much different today than they were then. Yet even today, many of us may not fall in the category of affluence and wealth. Perhaps many of us have grown out of poverty into a growing middle class. The reality is often seen in our parents who lived through hard times and who continue to live in the ‘fear’ of an impending financial tragedy.

This fear is often seen in the poor. They who wander the streets have no cupboards or refrigerators. The dirty hand bag they carry often serves as both. In it they store all kinds and all sorts out of fear of not getting another meal. Take this to another level and most of us too live in the fear that the security we enjoy could disappear in a flash; a job loss, the death of a bread winner and so on. It is understandable why many of us would cling to our bank balances rather than to the word of God. Wealth competes with God for the human heart.

Jesus wants us to cling to him especially if our fear and insecurity of the futures turns into an obsession or even worse a crazed desire to hoard more, buy more and possess more. In doing that we ‘despise’ the Lord while we are ‘devoted’ to our financial portfolios. It is in this light that verse 25 flows.

Of all Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, this is one of the more difficult sections to understand. Jesus’ words seem out of step with our society and on the surface, they lack coherence with the lives we are living. The Lord’s solution which seems simplistic is reflected in the ever-popular song of Bobby Mcferrin which dominated the 1980’s called “don’t worry be happy.” Five times in this text we are told to stop worrying about tomorrow as the troubles we have today are burdensome itself. It seems to suggest that one does not need to work or prepare for the future at all; we can simply relax knowing that God will take care of our needs.

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SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS

The Adoration of the Trinity
Albrecht Durer
1511
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

The artist, standing on the hill, envisions the heavenly. We first see the Throne of Mercy. God the Father presents to us the source of Divine Mercy. Right above hovers the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. The Holy Trinity is surrounded by a choir of cherubs ceaselessly singing Hosanna. The next group of immortals resounds their praises. To our right are depicted the patriarchs and prophets and at our left kneel the martyrs and the saints. The faithful gather right below them. The unity of the Holy Trinity is reflected in the union of the Universal Church rooted in the everlasting covenant of God. The rainbow in the sky reminds us that we are a part of this eternal union. Do we partake in it?

– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS

The Black Madonna of Czestochowa
Jasna Góra Monastery
Czestochowa

The artist presents Mary holding Christ Child in her arms. Her half-closed eye-lids lend a contemplative expression to her beautiful face. Christ extends his right hand in benediction while in his left hand He holds a book symbolizing wisdom. The reddish scars on Mary’s cheek are reminiscent of the attempted destruction caused by the Hussite movement in 1430. Why is the Madonna Black? Initially, the icon was painted in dark olive, as was common in the east. The soot of candles over the ages has contributed to its darker tone. However, irrespective of the colour and time, as Mary gazes at us, she continues to lead us to the source of salvation.

– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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This coconut Chicken recipe  has been shared by Vaishali Medi from the parish of St Jude. The dish is simple and is a great comfort meal. 

Chicken  – 300 gms
Onion  – 100 gms
Tomatoes 130 gms (2medium size)
Chili paste – 8.8gms /1 heap tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 Heap tsp
Coconut milk  – 620ml
Red Kashmiri Chilies –  2 pcs
Jeera – 1tsp
Cinnamon –  1inch
Curry leaves handful
Turmeric powder  – 1tsp/1/2 tsp
Coriander powder –  1tsp/2.5gms
Jeera Powder  – 1tsp/2.5gms
Garam Masala –  1 heap tsp /3gms
Red Kashmiri Chili powder  – 1 heap tsp/3gms
Ghee  – 2tbsp

Heat the pan, pour oil/ghee and add the onions.
Fry the onions (do not brown them),
Add ginger garlic paste and fry it well  and then add green chilli paste
Now add all the dry masala powder together; namely  turmeric, chilli, coriander and jeera  and mix it well
Add little water only if the masala begins to stick to the pan or if you sense its burning.
Add the tomatoes 
Add salt as per taste
Add about 1 tbsp coriander leaves (not all, leave the rest for garnishing)
Now introduce the chicken and mix it well. The Chicken must be coated with the masala.
Cover the dish for about 2-3 minutes
Now add coconut milk and stir it well. Then cover the dish again till the chicken is cooked.
Once the chicken is cooked finish the dish with tempering or tadka
For the tadka heat ghee or oil in a small pan then add cinnamon, jeera, red Kashmiri chilli and the curry leaves. Pour the tempering over the chicken dish and serve

Leave your comments below and if you make the dish do post an image

Fr Warner

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SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS

St John the Baptist
Leonardo da Vinci
1513 – 1516
Louvre Museum

The artist depicts the Baptist in solitude. He gazes at the viewer bearing an enigmatic smile. Isn’t that smile familiar? A ‘Leonardesque motif’ it instantly reminds  one of the famous Mona Lisa. John’s right hand is raised. This gesture symbolizes his mission to ‘prepare the way’ for the coming of the Messiah. The reed cross and the animal pelts serve as his iconographic details. Notice the light that radiates through the Baptist. It illuminates the words of the Gospel – ‘He came to bear witness to the Light so that all might believe through him.’ It is in this light that we encounter the Light of the World.

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– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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