Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday February 17, 2019
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 78

A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke
Lk 6:17, 20-26

Jesus came down with the twelve
and stood on a stretch of level ground
with a great crowd of his disciples
and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon.
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings remind us of the life-giving qualities received by those who follow God’s teachings and who trust in God’s goodness. St. Francis de Sales similarly notes: “The greater our trust in God, the more life-giving is our spirit. If we are to allow God’s love to operate in us, we must make room in our heart so that the Holy Spirit may flood our heart with holy love. When our concerns and responsibilities are full of anxiety and fear, we limit our ability to act in the way God desires us to act.”

What are we to do if we have the desire to serve God but lack sufficient strength to put that desire into practice? Offer this desire to God. God renews our desire as often as is necessary to make us persevere in our desire to do God’s Will. Placing our trust in God’s goodness makes us eventually capable of acting on our desire to belong to God.

I am not saying that you must always feel this determination to belong entirely to God. We may always have feelings of reluctance to the events in our life that God does not desire but permits. Do not be troubled by such feelings, for few people are able to get rid of them. Yet, you ought to constantly recognize that you belong to God even though you do not always feel that way. We must deliberately choose to keep ourselves focused on the goal to belong to God alone. As we focus on pursuing our goal, our reluctant feelings will gradually be transformed as we allow God’s love to flood our heart.

Let us frequently place our good will in God’s hands, and God will renew our true willingness as often as is necessary in this mortal life. Those who place themselves peacefully in the hands of God’s Providence let themselves move forward, like a person sleeping in a ship that never stops moving forward on a tranquil sea. Blessed are they who put their trust in God, for confidence in God brings life to their human spirit!

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales.)