“As a disciple of Christ – like St Francis de Sales – to ‘resolutely respond to the charismatic call of the Lord!’”
(Based on Jon 3:1-5, 10, 1 Cor 7:29-31 and Mk 1:14-20 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B)
Three different incidents are a told of a person, who was known to struggle with impatience, anger and exasperation…
… yet would deal with it, with a lot of maturity and patience.
- The first incident is of stray man who walked through the streets, and was trying to ‘do him in’ – trying to harm the person.
This person however, would tell him:
“I am told you wish me harm. I can promise you that even if you had put out one of my eyes, I would still look kindly upon you with the other!”
- The second incident is when he would be insulted by a certain high official and he was asked, why he did not lose his temper. He would admit and say:
“At that time and many other times, I was seething with anger like water in a pot, boiling over the fire; but that by the Grace of God, even if the violent efforts to resist such passion endangered my life…
… I would not let myself go!”
- The third incident would be when the person would be instigated to lose temper and to speak badly to a young man. This would be his reaction to the same:
“What did you want me to do in the matter?
… I did what I could to arm myself with an anger that was not sinful. I took my heart in my two hands, but I did not have the courage to dress him down.
To tell you the truth, I was afraid of losing in a quarter of an hour this little bit of liquid of gentleness…
… which I have attempted to gather for twenty-two years, drop by drop like dew in the vessel of my puny heart!”
All these three incidents would be occasions when a person – like any of us – in the normal circumstance would have got angry and lost patience.
However, this person, with the Grace of God remained calm and composed.
He was willing to “resolutely respond to the charismatic call of the Lord”…
… inviting him to live in holiness and sanctity!
This person is St Francis de Sales – known as the Gentleman Saint…
… whose feast is celebrated on January 24th.
His life is a great inspiration to all of us…
… as he would allow himself to be moulded by the Grace of God
… and with honest efforts, would grow in virtue and holiness.
He allowed the Mighty Presence of the Lord to “take possession of his heart” and was willing to “let go of everything” that prevented him from being a disciple of Christ!
The Gospel of the Day presents the beautiful incident of the call of the first disciples – Simon, Andrew, James and John – by the Sea of Galilee.
This call narrative is a mighty reminder of two important aspects of our Christian life and vocation: The charismatic call of the Lord and the resolute response needed from us!
- Jesus is constantly seeking us (The charismatic call of the Lord)
Very often, we only consider the aspect of “we seeking the Lord”
But this Gospel beautifully reminds us: God searches and seeks for us…
… much much more, than we do!
“And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw…” (Mk 1:16)
The eyes of the Lord are constantly
… searching for us
… striving for us
… seeking for us
- His call requires a free response from us (The resolute response needed from us)
At the words of the Lord, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mk 1:17)…
… Simon and Andrew, “immediately [they] left their nets and followed Him!” (Mk 1:18)
“And immediately he called them [John and James]; and they left their father Zeb′edee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed Him” (Mk 1:20)
The disciples – drawn to the Charismatic Call of the Lord….
… with a free will, chose to follow the Lord
They had risks… They had uncertainties…. They had possibilities of failures before them!
… yet, they “trusted in the Divine Call” and followed the Lord
Yes, the life of being a Disciple of Christ requires us to “resolutely respond to the charismatic call of the Lord”…
… and allow the Mighty Presence of the Lord to “take possession of our hearts”
… and be willing to “let go of everything” that prevents us from being a disciple of Christ!
Let this beautiful Gospel inspire and help all of us – like St Francis de Sales – to become “His Missionaries of Mercy and Compassion” in the world…
… by living the simple virtues of gentleness, patience and simplicity!
On this Feast Day, may the following popular quotes of the Gentleman Saint – St Francis de Sales (SFS) – inspire and strengthen us:
“Bloom where you are planted”
“Be what you are and be at its best”
“I have made a pact with my tongue… not to speak, when my heart is troubled!”
“A spoonful of honey attracts more bees than a barrel of vinegar”
“Be patient with all things; but first of all, with yourself!”
“Praying daily for half an hour is essential, except when you are busy… in those times, an hour!”
Wish you all a very Happy Feast of St Francis De Sales!
With joy and love, let us proclaim with him: “VIVE JESUS… Live Jesus!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
GOD REVEALS HIS “PLAN OF LOVING GOODNESS”
It pleased God, in His goodness and wisdom, to reveal Himself and to make known the mystery of his will.
His will is that men should have access to the Father, through Christ – the Word made flesh – in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature.
God, who “dwells in unapproachable light,” wants to communicate His Own Divine Life to the men He freely created…
… in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son.
By revealing Himself, God wishes to make them capable of responding to Him…