January 24, 2012
Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop
and doctor of the Church
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His mother and his
brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him 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."
Prayer: Today I want to encounter you as a friend
and brother, Lord. I believe that you want to encounter
me and transform me. Thank you for working in my
heart, calling me to a deeper identification with you. I
trust that you will lead me along paths of growth
Petition: Lord, help me to put my
will in conformity with yours.
1. Maybe He Needs
a Break: Jesus was very busy. Perhaps he was tired.
Perhaps his mother arrived to give him a bit of
food or a word of encouragement. But we find in
today’s Gospel a Christ who is strong. He has strengthened
himself through intimate contact with the Father. He has filled
his heart with a love for souls. He finds nourishment
in doing the Father’s will. Surely his mother was encouraged
by what she found. Do I let the will of
God be my strength? Does prayer transform me to the
point where charity and evangelization become my natural way of
2. Closeness for the Right Reason: As Jesus
taught and healed, people were naturally attracted to him. Yet
simply being physically close to him did not count. One
had to open one’s heart to receive his message of
conversion. He was looking to transform people, to make them
capable of living as sons and daughters of God. If
I am willing to learn Jesus’ standards and act as
he does, then I can be close to him. He
will allow me into his intimacy if I make God’s
3. Accompanying Christ: There is a mysterious
reality here. I can actually bring consolation to Christ’s heart.
I can accompany him on his divine mission. I must
be willing to renounce my will and do only the
will of the Father. Can Christ point to me and
say, “He is my brother; she is my sister; she
is my mother”? I must look at my life and
see what is not in conformity to his will. I
must make a firm resolution to show my faith and
love in the very thing that is most difficult for
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you give me this
short life in order to become part of your family.
I want to make the Father’s will my own as
you did. Help me to put God’s will above everything
else, so that it becomes what I most deeply desire.
Then I will truly be yours.
Resolution: Today I
will make an act of charity towards someone with whom
I find it difficult to get along.