Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 15, 2018)
In today’s Gospel we experience Jesus giving authority to carry out His work to the Apostles, and how their faith in Him leads to good works. St. Francis de Sales notes:
A living faith produces many great and good works. However, we see that strong and healthy persons must often be stirred up to put their strength and skill to proper use. The hand must lead them to their work. While a soul that is heavily burdened has the power to believe and hope in God’s love, it does not have the strength to see clearly if it does. Its distress has such a hold on it. Yet, our Savior never lets us go out on the road alone. The Spirit of Jesus is always with us, urging us on and appealing to our hearts and driving them forward so as to use well the holy love He places in us.
A tender mother leads along her little child, helps him and holds him up as long as she sees a need for it. Now she lets him take a few steps by himself in places that are very level and not too difficult. Then she takes him by the hand and holds him steady. At times she takes him up in her arms and carries him. It is also the way that our Savior takes constant care to lead forward His children. He enables them to walk before Him. He holds their hand in difficulties. Therefore when all things fail us, when our distress is at its height, our abandonment into the hands of our Savior cannot fail us. He will carry us along in hardships that He sees as being unbearable to us, if we let Him.
In many ways, God’s care preserves those who have faith in the teachings of Jesus. Our entire good consists not only in accepting the truth of God’s word, but also in persevering in it. Hence, we ought to have great courage and trust that God will assist us in all that we do for God’s glory. Let us rouse our faith. Give it life in believing fully in God’s love and care for us. Then all our works will bear fruit like those of the Apostles.
(St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God; Sermons of St. Francis de Sales, L. Fiorelli, Ed.).