The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will.--Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Gospel text (Mk 3,31-35):
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
"Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply,
"Who are my mother and my brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."
In today’s Gospel, on the feast of St. Francis de Sales, we see Jesus remind the people around him that they truly are his brothers, sisters, and mothers, if they are willing to follow the will of God. Although it seems like Jesus is speaking only to the people around him, it is so important for us to remember that Jesus is also speaking to us in this passage. If we listen to him and figure out what his plan is for us, then we also can be his brothers and sisters. To be able to do this, we have to learn how to look past our earthly commitments and focus on what God has in store for us. We need to remember that God is loving, caring, and infinitely merciful, and so he always has only our best interests in mind. All we have to do is look past our own earthly desires and instead listen to God’s wonderful plan for our lives. It is fitting that today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, because he is a great example of how to do exactly that.
St. Francis de Sales was born in France in 1567 into a noble family. He was very privileged throughout his life and attended the best schools with the best teachers to get the best education. After many years of studying and living this affluent life, he felt a emptiness inside himself that seemed to never go away. After much despair and even physical afflictions, he decided to turn around and dedicate his life to God. He rediscovered that God is love, and so he knew that anything God had in store for him would be good. After living a very holy life, he died, was canonized as a saint 42 years later, and then declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877. St. Francis de Sales can serve as a great reminder to us about the importance of focusing on what is truly important in our lives. It would have been very easy for St. Francis to just think about succeeding monetarily or prestigiously in this life. However, he chose to dedicate his life to God and focus on the heavenly reward.
Let us pray today that, with the intercession of St. Francis de Sales, we may be able to center our lives on what is truly important. Let us remember that Christ wants us to be in communion with him, because we are his brothers, sisters, and mothers if we just follow the will of God.