Feeling distracted, worried, disorganized, busy, lost, restless, helpless, rushed, forgetful, absent-minded, insecure, losing concentration, losing direction and purpose in life… If some of the above symptoms resonate with you, perhaps, like Martha, you have troubled yourself with "many things", as Jesus observed.

Some may feel that there is no resolution to our condition; the burden of "many things" is simply our reality and that it's impossible for us to reduce our workload, leaving us no choice but to accept and bear it without complaint. Without any apparent solution at hand, the easiest way out is not to think about it at all! Since we cannot change our reality, we just bury our heads in the sand and keep going.

Difficult it may be, we should never neglect the issue nor remain passive; or worse, deny the problem as if it doesn't exist nor applicable to our life. The more we try to neglect and ignore the problem, the bigger and more disastrous it will become. Thus, our negligence will fester into a disorder.

It is understandable that our daily life cannot be rid of the "many things". Often, we may not have a choice, as certain things are either beyond our control or difficult to change, for instance, natural disasters, war, pandemic, political situations, work and family obligations, just to name a few. Since these things are some of life's non-negotiables, thus, inescapable and can never be subtracted from life, we need to counter these situations with a positive attitude.

On the other hand, we do have a choice in a great deal of things in life. Often, we keep adding to our already full plate without even thinking about it, multiplying our troubles and worsening the situation.

At the heart of the problem is our tendency to accumulate things, whether they are material or immaterial.

Material things may include different possessions, like household appliances, electronics and technological products, clothing, books, decorations, memorabilia and collectors' items, even everyday products, collecting points through shopping or discount programs, and so on. Immaterial things may include academics, knowledge, hobbies, news, including entertainment, sports and financial news, and even information about deals. A note of clarification: all the things listed are not necessarily bad; however,

when we prioritize these things above all and become fixated on accumulating these insignificant things, we are allowing ourselves to be bound and become incapacitated.

All these can distort our vision and hinder us from making the right choices in life. Accumulating things not only prevents us from following Christ, but also enslaves us to the "many things" that we accumulate. Ultimately, we are allowing the negative conditions — described at the beginning of today's reflection — to continue multiplying and growing in our hearts and minds!

Fortunately, God has granted us sufficient wisdom to resolve this problem. Lent is an opportune time to reconsider and seek solutions to this problem. Otherwise, we will have to pay a hefty price! We may also become casualties of our unhealthy lifestyle!

In the "Beatitudes", found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter five, Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. […] Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God"

(Matthew 5: 3, 8).


When faced with the problem of being "worried and distracted by many things", do you bury your head in the sand?

Do you recognize that you are also plagued by the bad habit of accumulation?

Would you be willing to make a commitment to resolve the problem during this Lent? How has Jesus' teachings inspired you?


Lord Jesus Christ, I'm confronted by a problem against which I'm powerless. I wish I could run away from the heavy burden and stress in my life as I lack determination to overcome these obstacles. At times, I feel hopeless and helpless! But I also know that this is the time when I need You most. Help me with my unbelief; strengthen my faith. I believe that You desire to give me the best!  In You, and through You, I can overcome all. Remind me, always, of the truth that Your grace is sufficient for me (ref. 2 Cor 12:9)! I pray in the Holy name of Jesus, Amen. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.