32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (November 12, 2017)

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that those who experience the kingdom of heaven are wise and prudent. St. Francis de Sales notes:

Good Christians who live in a worldly culture must be prudent to improve their situation. They have to give great care to the needs of their families. By acting otherwise, they would be failing in their responsibilities. Yet, good Christians also trust in God’s wisdom more than in their own proficiency. They work faithfully, but let God take concern for their work. The things they do are insignificant when they consider only the dignity their work has in being willed by God’s will, arranged by Providence, and planned according to His wisdom. God’s wisdom is God’s love for us.

Now the problem with our human spirit is that it never follows the middle course, but usually runs to extremes. We can be too concerned about our personal welfare or not concerned enough. In always trying to follow a straight path it is only natural that at times we tilt to one extreme or the other. We can recover our balance by choosing God’s wisdom and prudence, for they unite us to God’s love by rejecting what is harmful to us.

Let us not let our worldly desires get in the way of God’s loving wisdom. To the extent that we reorder our lives through prayer and virtuous living, we find God’s love empowering us to balance our actions so that they are effective in living wisely. We must be like little children who with one hand hold fast to their father while with the other they gather blackberries from the hedges. So too if you handle the goods of this world with one hand, you must always hold fast with the other to the hand of your heavenly Father, whose loving wisdom gives us an abundance of means to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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