Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 21, 2018)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals that to be great is to be a servant. St. Francis de Sales stresses that we serve God best in our daily responsibilities of our state of life:

Firmly put in your mind that God desires you to be a servant just as you are. That is, you serve God best by trying to be patient, gentle and loving in the activities and responsibilities that your state in life requires. Once you are convinced of this, you must bring yourself to a tender affection for your state in life. Because God wills it, we must love everything about it and give it first place in our heart, recalling it often, thinking it over seriously, welcoming and enjoying the truth of it.

Cultivate your own garden as best you can. Direct your thoughts to being very good at being what you are and bear the crosses, little or great, that you find there by frequently asking God to help you. Do not consider the importance of the things you do. For of themselves they are insignificant. Consider only the dignity they have in being willed by God’s providence, and planned according to God’s wisdom. In a word, if they are pleasing to God and acknowledged being so, to whom should they be displeasing?

Little by little exercise your will to follow God’s will. God, who does nothing in vain, gives us strength and courage when we need them. Gradually the strong resistance you feel will become weaker and soon disappear altogether. Call to mind that trees bear fruit only because of the presence of the sun, some sooner, and some later. Not all of them yield equal harvests. We are very fortunate to be able to remain in the presence of God. So let us be content that God will make us bear our fruit sooner or later, or only occasionally, according to God’s good pleasure. Our openness to the will of God allows us to be faith-filled servants of God, who never fails to help us in our needs

(Adapted from W. Wright & J. Power, Eds., Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal…)