25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 24, 2017)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks to us about the Kingdom of heaven, where God’s generous mercy and goodness far exceeds our concept of justice. St. Francis de Sales notes:

When there is absolutely no human good to hope for, it is precisely then that God’s awe-inspiring mercy shines forth and surpasses God’s justice. God’s ways are not our ways. God would sooner work miracles than leave us without help. For this reason our Savior came to redeem us and deliver us from the tyranny of sin. The heart of our Savior is wholly filled with mercy and kindness for the human family.

God’s providence is wiser than what we are. We imagine we would feel better if we were on another ship. That may be, but only if we change ourselves! There is a real temptation to become dissatisfied and depressed about the world we have to live in. Truly we must not lose heart. God will never abandon us. It is we who abandon God.

If you are troubled you never want to leave God. An ounce of virtue practiced in adversity is worth more than a thousand pounds exercised in prosperity. We may be weak but our weakness is not nearly as great as God’s mercy toward those who desire to love God, and place all their hope in God. The problem is that all the nooks and corners of our hearts are cluttered with thousands of desires that prevent our Savior from giving us the gifts that He desires to shower on us.

We ought to be like the mariner who, in steering his vessel, always keeps his eye on the needle of the compass. We must keep our eyes open to correct our desires and have only one, that of pleasing God. Let our Lord reign in our hearts, as He desires. Then let us remain at peace, without hurry or fear in our hearts, and go on our little way. So long as we mean well and hold to our desire to love God, we are on the right track.

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