Fifth Sunday of Easter (May 19, 2019)

Today’s readings remind us that to enter the Kingdom of God we must persevere in faith in Jesus Christ. St. Francis de Sales stresses the need to persevere in God’s love.

Perseverance is the most desirable gift we can hope for in this life. All our happiness is grounded in perseverance and that is why I urge you to persevere till the end. Our entire good consists not only in accepting the truth of God’s word, but also in persevering in it. The Spirit of God makes us consider beginnings so as to arrive at the end. The Spirit has us rejoice in the flowers of spring only in expectation of enjoying the fruits of summer and autumn.

The aim of the Christian life is to transform our own self-centered spirit into that of Christ’s. As long as we live we will always have some self-seeking interests that we ought to relinquish. The more we let go of our selfish desires and yield to God’s desire for us, the more our human spirit will be at peace and free from interior restlessness.

True love strives to please those in whom it has found pleasure. The example of those we love has an imperceptible power over us. We can not help conforming ourselves to those we love. By often taking delight in God we become conformed to God, and our will is transformed into that of God‘s divine will. Conformity of our heart with that of God’s love takes place when we place all our affections in God’s hands so that God may shape and direct our spirit. In turn, we respond to God’s love through love of others.

Faith teaches that all that is true and good in us is from God alone. You must have great courage and a very firm confidence in God’s help. God, who holds you by the hand, carries you along in hardships that seem otherwise unbearable to you. If we persevere in responding to God’s love and mercy, God will complete the work of our salvation.

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