Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 25, 2019)

During the last month, Jesus has been reminding us that being his disciple isn’t easy.

It takes courage and commitment. It isn’t enough to eat and drink with Jesus on Sunday and listen to his words. Discipleship is a daily way of living. We must make an effort to live what we have heard from Jesus. And, as Jesus nourishes us, we must be willing to nourish each other.

Today’s second reading offers us a very needed reminder as we struggle each day to be a disciple. Our God created each of us because God is love. Everything that we experience in our life is part of God’s loving providence for us – even the difficulties and trials.

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages us not to forget this basic truth. As we heard, the writer compares God’s care for us to a parent’s care. A loving parent disciplines a son or daughter for loving reasons – to help the child grow as a person. Our loving God treats us in the same way.

In order to be able to appreciate this truth, we must first be willing to accept as true that our God loves us with an everlasting love. God’s great desire for us is that we be one with God, right now here on this earth and forever in eternity. When we learn to accept that God’s everlasting love is the reason we exist at all, then we can begin to appreciate God’s presence in our life.

In light of God’s providential care for us, St. Francis de Sales encourages us to accept whatever comes to us as coming from the hand of our good God whose only purpose is to make us merit from these happenings so that God can reward us out of the abundance of divine love. Everything in our life contributes to our growth with God in holiness.

In order to live this way, we must learn through prayer to develop a great trust in God’s providential love for us. As we grow in our trust, we will be able to strengthen our drooping hands and our weak knees, and walk more surely with our God on the path that God has lovingly set for us.