Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (November 11, 2018)

Today’s readings inspire us to give of ourselves at a deeper level. St. Francis de Sales gives us simple ways to give of ourselves by setting priorities of what is important in life:

The love of God is gentle, peaceful and calm. Our, love to be effective, must flow from this divine love. To love as Jesus loved we must have a generous heart that reaches out to those who are poor, materially and spiritually. Love the poor. Be glad to see them in your home and to visit with them in theirs. Share your goods with them. God will repay you not only in the next world but even in this.

Our hearts must be open first to God’s kingdom. Whatever riches we possess, remember that we are only stewards of the things of this earth. God entrusts them to our care, but our hearts must remain detached from them in a way that we are not anxious about them. When we take care of our possessions the way God wants us to care for them, we don’t lose peace of mind if they are taken from us.

If we decide to respond to misfortunes with gentleness, peace and calmness, we feed the fire of sacred love that is growing in us. We do not choose these losses, but we do choose how we will give of ourselves to others when difficult events cause us pain. We ought to rejoice in such occasions, as they are opportunities for us to place our trust more fully in the love and goodness of God. Thus, in circumstances over which we have no control, let us yield to these circumstances with a good heart, and put up with them patiently, courageously and cheerfully. If we live in this way we will be very rich because we will possess divine love, which empowers us, like the saints, to give more fully of ourselves to those in need.

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