Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 15, 2019)
Today’s readings remind us of God’s loving desire to seek us out when we go astray. Here are some of St. Francis de Sales thoughts on God’s loving mercy:
Wine that delights and strengthens the heart represents earthly joys and satisfactions. Yet more than all earthly pleasures, God’s love has an incomparable strength and power to restore and refresh the human heart. Only divine love is capable of giving the human heart perfect satisfaction and joy. Our Divine Lover is not content with proclaiming publicly an extreme desire to be loved. Our Savior goes from door to door, knocking and rapping, and crying: Return to me and live! I have loved you with an everlasting love.
When we stray far from the path of God’s love, our Savior never forgets to show that his mercy is above all his works. When our Lord sees a soul plunged into evil, He speeds to its aid. As we consent to God’s love that comes to rescue us from our misery, we are like old plants, once deadened by the winter but now growing green and vigorous. We again take on strength and life in the “wine” of heavenly love that cheers the human heart. God’s infinite mercy desires that all have life eternal and that none perish.
Yet, all of us have some false loves. These loves lead us away from our natural inclination to love God. If we follow this inclination faithfully, God’s divine mercy helps us to progress in holy love. So let us pour out in God’s presence all our disordered loves, and allow God to transform us entirely. Try to keep your will very firm in wanting to seek the good that God shows you, and our merciful Lord will help you progress in loving divinely. God always makes the cure far exceed the disease. Divine Providence often produces beautiful works of art from twisted pieces of wood.