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.
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.