Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 19, 2016)

Today’s readings tell us what we need to remain spiritually healthy on our journey through life: live wisely, address one another in spiritual song, try to understand the will of the Lord, be filled with the Spirit, praise God, give thanks, and feed on the eternal life-giving Bread of Christ. St. Francis de Sales notes that this advice aids us in living God’s Will for us:

Even the heart, where we wish to begin, must be instructed as to how it should model its outward conduct and bearing so that other people can see not only holy love but also great wisdom and prudence. Since God has stamped in us an infinite desire for truth and goodness, our soul wisely sees that nothing in this world gives it perfect contentment until it rests in the things of God.

While God’s overflowing love only gives, our frailty has need of God’s divine abundance. God takes great pleasure in giving us graces that lead to eternal life. Our hearts, no matter how frail and weak, are preserved from the corruption of sin when nourished by the incorruptible flesh and blood of the Son of God. Therefore, whoever turns to the sacrament of the Eucharist builds up their soul’s health.

Our Lord loves with a most tender love those who are so happy as to abandon themselves wholly to His care. They let themselves be governed by His divine Providence. They believe that God sends them only events and things that profit their spiritual well being. God wills that we live a life of truth and goodness and that we be saved. Therefore, when your distress is at its height, very gently put your heart into the hands of our Savior, who will help you be healthier. Let us then give our entire will to God who wisely instructs and enlightens our heart so that we as well as others come to know and live the will of God.

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