"Attracting followers, (Francis) launched a new order, the Friars Minor, who, in their strict faithfulness to the Gospel--seeking out the poor, the sick, the marginalized, embracing poverty and nonviolence--turned the values of their society upside down."
Give Us This Day
If St. Francis walked among us in our day he would certainly turn the values of our society upside down, too, wouldn't he? How did we get so far afield with our lust for consumerism, our treatment of the poor, our reverence of wealth? We put statues of St. Francis in our yards, but could we live more faithfully to the Gospel to honor him instead? It would be one thing if Francis had been born poor and just did well for himself, but the interesting piece of his story is that he was born rich--a Rich Young Man, in fact, who did exactly what Jesus told the RYM in the Gospel. Francis was a little more dramatic, perhaps, as he stripped naked and gave his fine clothes back to his father to the shock and horror of all gathered in the town square. From then on he lived the true Gospel: not the Prosperity Gospel of "Do well for yourselves," but Jesus' Gospel of taking care of each other, loving each other, and providing for each other. Today we honor the man who brought Jesus to the thirteenth century. How can we emulate him and bring Jesus to the twenty-first century? Let's do one thing today that we can picture St Francis doing--one act of giving, sharing, embracing, including and, most important of all, let's do it joyfully! Love, heidi