Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Oct. 2, 2022

Reflection for Oct. 2, 2022

Saints show us the way

St. Therese & St. Francis  exemplify how God blesses us for our work

by Sister Jane Riha

These first days of October begin with two beautiful feasts:  St. Therese of the Child Jesus on Oct. 1 and St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4.   The Sunday readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time come in the middle of those two feasts.  They provide a beautiful link of humble service, honoring one’s giftedness, and faith in a loving God.

The prophet Habakkuk is not heard from very often but here he is calling on the Lord for help and somewhat complaining that God is not really listening.  The Lord offers assurance that through faith and integrity all will be well.   St. Paul offers support and encouragement to Timothy who apparently needed some bolstering.  Paul assures him “to    stir into flame the gift of God.”   He goes on to tell him he has enough courage, enough love, enough self-control because God has blessed him with these gifts. 

 Hardship and difficulty are part of life’s journey but the Holy Spirit is present, dwells within, and helps us.  Perhaps at times we, too, feel inadequate before the challenges we face in our journey of faith and our ordinary living day by day.  Each of us is gifted and a gift to the world around us, to the people in our family, neighborhood, and workplace.

The Gospel passage from Luke is a call to a relationship with God and growth in faith.   So often Jesus uses parables to teach meaningful lessons.  The final line is, “When you have done all that you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we are obliged to do.’”    We are called to do ordinary tasks and service with extraordinary care and love.   In this way, we witness the faith, courage, and giftedness that comes from God.   St. Therese and St. Francis were ordinary people who lived in an extraordinary way.  The call to holiness is extended to us as well.


10/03/2022 11:24 am

Thanks for the helpful reflection. It is great to connect St. Therese and Sr. Francis to the readings - ordinary people who lived in an extraordinary way. Yes, each of us is gifted with so many people to assist us along the way.

10/03/2022 2:59 pm

" ... We, too, feel inadequate ...."

Sister Jane draws our attention to, how, especially when we are in the midst of difficult, uncertain times, how "insignificant" we can feel, asking ourselves, "Is there anything I can do that will help? Anything that will really make a difference?"

And JESUS has an answer: ""If you have faith the size of a mustard seed ......"

And I say to JESUS, "What are you talking about, JESUS? How can one little mustard seed be of any use to these problems that are so massive and cause so much suffering?"

And JESUS says, "Ahhhh..... but that little seed, given and sown in good faith, with the hope of 'new life' to come for the sake of others who will benefit from its growth, development, and maturation, has hidden within it the Mystery of God's Salvific and Redeeming Love. And what you do with that one little seed, does, indeed, matter. For a seed cannot grow to provide for anyone, unless it be sown. Sow the seed/s you have been given, and let the God of Love, Life, and Light produce the yield."


Someone said, "Don't ask, 'How might I make a difference?' But rather ask, 'How and what might I contribute?'"

What I contribute is my gift of seed/s -- in words of care, in words that speak truth-to-power, in hands that serve, and that work to correct unjust systems of power and wealth that oppress and deny human dignity and human rights to others.

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