Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 23, 2018)

Today’s Gospel challenges us to be child-like servants of God. Simplicity of heart marks a loving child, and is also a “little virtue” that St. Francis de Sales emphasizes:

Like an infant whose one desire is to be fed by its mother, our heart is simple when we have only one desire and that is to love God. We allow our Lord to carry us as we walk according to the desires of God and not our own preferences. A truly simple person spends time with the Lord. They are like the little child who desires only to rest in his mother’s arms because here is where he is nourished and cared for.

Simplicity requires that our interior self match our exterior self. Yet, we do not lack simplicity when we put on a smiling face while we feel upset. It is true you are agitated within when you are facing some difficulty. This is natural for our misery tends to follow an extreme course. Although we admit the feeling, we do not have to consent to it. Thus when we are troubled by something and smile, it means we accept our difficulty in a good, wholesome, simple way that helps us to flourish as a child of God.

Walk simply and you will walk confidently. If you are with someone who is moody, don’t be concerned about what to do. Simply be your cheerful self. Just now she is sad, but at some other time you will be like her. Help her and yourself to enjoy the time you have together. And at another time she will help you do the same. In this way you are a child-like servant of God to others. We come closer to God’s love the more we detach ourselves from things that hinder us from loving God and others. Simplicity places every event in God’s hands. Happy are they who no longer journey with their own feet, that is, according to their own thoughts, desires, preferences and inclinations, but according to those of their God! For in their simplicity of heart they will find God’s love and peace.

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