Psalm 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163
In our first reading there is a prayer by Agur son of Jakeh. He asks God for neither poverty nor riches. He is concerned about being so poor that he would steal or being so rich that he would deny God. Many people pray every day to be rich. People pray to win the lottery. There might be just as much prayer in casinos as in churches. When we are asking for riches, what are we really asking for? There are people who make more each day than you or I will make in our whole lives but never have the most valuable thing in the world: Enough.
All we want is enough. Riches can buy luxuries, but what do we want luxuries for? If a human is chasing after luxuries, then they have forgotten the purpose of this life, perhaps they do not even know why they are alive. Did God make this whole universe, this planet and the sun and the other stars, the life of this planet and then create us, just so that we could chase after luxuries? The point of life is to seek God. In the meantime, we just hope to have enough for each day so that we can seek God without worrying about starving or where we will sleep each night.
We do find it very difficult though to get through each day without knowing where tomorrow’s enough will come from. Even if we have enough today, we can be distracted from the true purpose of our lives by worrying about tomorrow. Even if we have enough for this year, we worry about next year. This seems like just responsible planning, but Jesus, in today’s Gospel and in other places, tells us that the ideal Christian life would be to live day-to-day praying just for our daily bread, never worrying about the future. It is a difficult problem, balancing personal responsibility against trust in God. I am not telling you that I know the answer to how each person should make this balance in their own life. Some people are called to be like St. Francis, completely on the side of trust. Other people are called to have a retirement plan and take care of the St. Francis’s of the world. But no one should completely forget about this radical call of the Christian life: to ask God simply for enough for today, no more, no less.