Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 22, 2017)

In today’s Gospel Jesus calls several fishermen to come and follow Him. St. Francis de Sales comments on their calling, and also ours, to follow Our Savior:

When Our Savior tells His Apostles that He has chosen them, He makes no exception. Even Judas was called although he misused his freedom, and rejected the means God gave him. We can be sure that when God calls someone to embrace Christianity, to be single or married, to be a religious, priest or bishop, God gives each person all the necessary help to attain sanctity in his or her vocation.

Yet, even after their conversion, some of the Apostles were subject to some imperfections, like St. Peter who failed miserably by denying the Lord. Likewise, we see that it is impossible to overcome in a day all the bad habits acquired by caring poorly for our spiritual health. Nonetheless, Our Savior wants you to serve Him just as you are, both by prayer and by actions suited to your state and stage in life. Once you are convinced that you must serve God where you are, and go on doing what you are doing, have a tender affection for your state in life. Be of good heart; cultivate your vineyard with divine love.

As you set out on your daily tasks, place yourself in the hands of God, who desires to help you succeed in your affairs. Believe that God will do what is best for you, provided that, on your part, you employ a gentle diligence. Do not be surprised if the fruits of your labor are slow to appear. If you do the work of God patiently, your labor will not be in vain. Our Lord, who makes houses for the snails and turtles, will lead you well; let Him do it. We must walk faithfully in the way of our Lord, and remain in peace, as much in the winter of sterility as in the autumn of fruitfulness. Walk joyously, then, in your vocation with confidence in Divine Providence.

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