27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 8, 2017)
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God will be given to those who live the Lord’s way of truth and sacred love. St. Francis de Sales expands on this:
How happy we shall be if we love this divine Goodness that has prepared such favors and blessings for us! God became one of us so that we might become like God. Our Savior gave us His life not only to heal the sick, work miracles, and teach us what we must do to have a life-giving, healthy life. He also used his entire life choosing to shape His cross by enduring insults from those for whom He was doing so much good. He chose to give up His life for His people who rejected Him.
To live in our world, and live contrary to the cultural values that stress material things, selfish ambition and power is to go against the current of the river of this life. Yet, we can let go of these disordered passions by practicing interior gentleness, simplicity, humility, and above all, sacred love. To let go of all that is not of God in us is to strive to live an authentic human life of truth and holy love. As no human can live this way without God’s help, such a life is a continual going out of ourselves to embrace God’s goodness for us. The person who chooses God’s divine love lives beyond his or her selfish desires: They no longer live for themselves, but in and for their Savior.
Bees are first larvae but forsake this stage to become flying bees. We do the same. If we live a graced life, we live a new loftier human life than the life we lived before we accepted God’s love. Our new life is in God with Jesus Christ who gives it. This new life of heavenly love vivifies and animates our soul. With God’s help then, we are capable of using our life to walk in the way of this divine love. As God’s most dear children, we are able to generously produce the fruit of truth and holy love found in God’s Kingdom.
(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales, especially Sermons, L. Fiorelli, Ed.)