Thought for the Day – 29 January – Tuesday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Mark 3:31–35
31 And his mother and his brethren came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting about him and they said to him, “Your mother and your brethren are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brethren?” 34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! 35 Whoever does the will of God, is my brother and sister and mother.”
Whoever does the will of God,
is my brother and sister and mother.
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Our determination to follow God’s will in all things without exception is contained in the Lord’s prayer, in the words we say each day: “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” In heaven there is no resistance to the divine will, everything is submitted to Him and obeys Him, we promise to do the same for Our Lord, never offering any resistance but always remaining very subject to this divine will in every circumstance. Now, the will of God can be understood in two ways: there is the will of God that is clearly stated and the will that is His good pleasure.
The will that is stated consists of four parts: His commandments, His counsels, the counsels of the Church and His inspirations. As regards the commandments of God and His Church, each of us must bow the neck and submit to obedience because in this, the will of God is absolute, willing that we should obey if we wish to be saved.
He wants us to observe the counsels by desire but not in an absolute manner, since some are so opposed to each other, that it would be altogether impossible to take on the practice of one of them, without taking away the means of practising the other. For example, it is a counsel to leave all one has in order to follow our Lord, stripped of everything and it is a counsel to lend and give alms. But how can someone lend who all at once has left all that he has, or how can he give alms, tell me, when he has nothing? So we have to follow the counsels God wants us to follow and not think He has given them all to us, so that we should embrace them all.
In addition there is the will of God’s good pleasure which we are to consider in every eventuality, I mean in all those things that happen to us – in sickness, death, affliction, consolation, in things that are adverse and things that are profitable, in brief in everything unforeseen. And to this will of God we should always be ready to submit in all that happens, in the agreeable as in the disagreeable, in affliction as in consolation, in death as in life and in all that is not clearly against the stated will of God, for that always comes first.