When Jesus says "Sufficient for a day is its own evil," was Our Lord making light of the fact that a lot of bad stuff happens every day?

I'm reading this as part of a scripture study with some scouts tomorrow and I'd like to know what Catholic commentators and saints have to say about this, and the particular attitude that a line like this would be stated with.

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    Did you see this answer of mine? christianity.stackexchange.com/a/42365/12563 Feb 20, 2017 at 5:14
  • @matt, no, it didn't pop up when I was tying the question (figured something would have, probably because the question got closed). But I read this now (ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/catena1.ii.vi.html) and it doesn't seem like any of the who's-who of Christendom thought Jesus was being glib. Thanks, I think this particular resource is gonna help a lot!
    – Peter Turner
    Feb 20, 2017 at 5:34
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    It seems to me that the portion of Matthew 6:36 cited is, in fact, the second half of the verse, and seems to fit with the greater section starting at v. 25. After spending 10 verses teaching why we should not be anxious today, I don't see Jesus as being glib in verse 36; taken as whole that verse seems to me to say, in paraphrase, "and by the way, do not be anxious about tomorrow, either". In other words, leave tomorrow's anxieties for tomorrow, when they will be today's anxieties, and Jesus teaching in 26-35 will apply.
    – brasshat
    Feb 20, 2017 at 12:05
  • @korvin, my main reason for asking is because I'd like to know what kind of a delivery people thought Jesus had. This kind of a line has to be expressed with the right attitude or it seems pretty cynical.
    – Peter Turner
    Feb 21, 2017 at 3:48
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    Possible duplicate of Explain the last sentence in Matthew 6:34 May 19, 2017 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


You might look at the commentary of St. John Chrysostom, who is a 4th century Saint and Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. He explains in his 22nd Homily on the the Gospel according to Matthew:

By evil here He means, not wickedness, far from it, but affliction, and trouble, and calamities; much as in another place also He says, Is there evil in a city, which the Lord has not done? nor any thing like these, but the scourges which are borne from above. And again, I, says He, make peace, and create evils: [Isaiah 45:7] For neither in this place does He speak of wickedness, but of famines, and pestilences, things accounted evil by most men: the generality being wont to call these things evil. Thus, for example, the priests and prophets of those five lordships, when having yoked the cattle to the ark, they let them go without their calves, [1 Samuel 6:9] gave the name of evil to those heaven-sent plagues, and the dismay and anguish which thereby sprang up within them.

This then is His meaning here also, when He says, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. For nothing so pains the soul, as carefulness and anxiety. Thus did Paul also, when urging to celibacy, give counsel, saying, I would have you without carefulness.

But when He says, the morrow shall take thought for itself, He says it not, as though the day took thought for these things, but forasmuch as He had to speak to a people somewhat imperfect, willing to make what He says more expressive, He personifies the time, speaking unto them according to the custom of the generality.

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