Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 14, 2018)

In today’s Gospel Jesus challenges us to let go of everything to follow Jesus, who brings true wealth. St. Francis de Sales speaks similarly:

To let go of our external possessions means we have to abandon everything into Our Lord’s hands. Then, we must ask Our Lord for the true love He desires us to have for them. You can possess riches if you merely keep them in your home and not in your heart. You may take care to increase your wealth and resources provided it is done not only justly, but also honestly and charitably, and you use them for the honor and glory of God. We must love God first of all, and then after that, others.

To live Jesus we must also give to Our Lord our imaginary possessions, such as honor, esteem and fame, so that in all things we seek God’s glory. Our possessions are not our own. God has given them to us to cultivate and wants us to make them fruitful for the Kingdom on earth. Hence we must take good care of them and use them as God wills.

To be free from our possessions means to cut out all that is superfluous and not of God in our lives. Yet, no one prunes vines by hacking them with an axe but by cutting them very carefully with a pruning hook, one shoot at a time. We must do likewise with ourselves, and take one step at a time. We can’t arrive in a day where we aspire to be.

This holy pursuit of doing God’s will in our lives is a huge undertaking. Still it is not as great as the reward. A generous person can do anything with the help of the Creator. At every moment give the very heart of your heart to our Savior. You will see that as this divine Lover takes His place in your heart, the world with all its futile pursuits will leave you, and you will live joyously in the total and perfect liberty of spirit as a child of God.

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