God is the chief builder

Bishop Jan de Groef M. Afr presided Mass this morning. Reflecting on today's memorial of St Francis de Sales and the readings (God's words to David and the parable of the sower) he reflected on their message to the bishops

* * * * *

"What could be the message for us bishops both looking at the memorial of St Francis de Sales and the readings of the day?

I will say that St Francis de Sales shows us how to approach people with a different mind set. He encourages an approach of respectful dialogue and not one of confrontation, showing love and mercy. It is this that touches the hearts of people and not just their minds. 

Today's readings invites to be humble and opened to God's plan rather than ours and this is a big challenge.

At times we bishops have been falling into the trap that we can solve all issues concerning family life, marriage, priesthood... We put in place a number of policies and structures, organise workshops and write pastoral letters... We start believing we are called to build a house for the Lord forgetting He is the chief builder. 

We will have to accept that much of our efforts will hardly produce fruits. Even if we pray or preach faithfully the Word of God, much of our words will fall on deaf ears.

That should not discourage us or make us resign to silence. Let us be aware too of the positive things happening in our dioceses and bishops' conference even if at times it comes quite unexpected and not as a result of our work.

Let us thank the Lord at all time because also today he is doing great things and the harvest is rich beyond our expectation."