Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (February 17, 2019)

Today’s readings remind us of the life-giving qualities received by those who follow God’s teachings and who trust in God’s goodness. St. Francis de Sales similarly notes: “The greater our trust in God, the more life-giving is our spirit. If we are to allow God’s love to operate in us, we must make room in our heart so that the Holy Spirit may flood our heart with holy love. When our concerns and responsibilities are full of anxiety and fear, we limit our ability to act in the way God desires us to act.”

What are we to do if we have the desire to serve God but lack sufficient strength to put that desire into practice? Offer this desire to God. God renews our desire as often as is necessary to make us persevere in our desire to do God’s Will. Placing our trust in God’s goodness makes us eventually capable of acting on our desire to belong to God.

I am not saying that you must always feel this determination to belong entirely to God. We may always have feelings of reluctance to the events in our life that God does not desire but permits. Do not be troubled by such feelings, for few people are able to get rid of them. Yet, you ought to constantly recognize that you belong to God even though you do not always feel that way. We must deliberately choose to keep ourselves focused on the goal to belong to God alone. As we focus on pursuing our goal, our reluctant feelings will gradually be transformed as we allow God’s love to flood our heart.

Let us frequently place our good will in God’s hands, and God will renew our true willingness as often as is necessary in this mortal life.  Those who place themselves peacefully in the hands of God’s Providence let themselves move forward, like a person sleeping in a ship that never stops moving forward on a tranquil sea. Blessed are they who put their trust in God, for confidence in God brings life to their human spirit!

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