On October 4th each year, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis who died in 1226. It is through his exemplary life of Prayer, Simplicity, and Service to the Poor, that we choose to live the Gospel in his footsteps as Associates and Members of the Order of Franciscan Hermits.
How many of us will be remembered 800 years from now??? When history remembers certain people, it's for us to pay attention to their life merits (or lack thereof) and their story. As my friend, George would say, "He was one of the Good Guys."
Although Francis was a young man who was positioned in life to make great wealth off of the noble class through his family's business, he had a series of conversion experiences that challenged him (and all of us) to live the actual words of the Gospel in Matthew 19:21-24 which says...
“If you want to be perfect, GO, Sell ALL of your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come and follow Me.... for it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Hearing these words, Francis LITERALLY gave EVERYTHING away, including his clothes and birthright to his inheritance, in order to follow the Gospel. He didn't want to be like the "young rich man" in verse 22 who "went away in sorrow because he had great wealth."
Luke 12:48 says, "To whom much is given, much shall be required."
These words of the Gospel are hard for anyone to hear and live, no matter what point in history you live, especially in our modern times.
I think a remedy for this challenge to "GO, Sell All that you have" is Francis' and the Gospel's remedy... to Serve and Help the poor to our greatest degree. I think we remember St. Francis almost 800 years later, not because he gave everything away, but because he was able to fully show that, "It is in Giving that We Receive" and in doing so, he lived "Perfect Joy."
Speaking of Inheritances... In Matthew 25:34-40...
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Francis made that passage his way of life... It is what Jesus asked us to do. It is our turn now.
The Order of Franciscan Hermits has much to celebrate this year... we were federally recognized as a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Religious Charitable Organization in the United States. We have grown to have Associates and Members in over 90 countries worldwide. We have Ministries in the Franciscan tradition of helping the poor and marginalized for the betterment of humanity. Domestic and International efforts support Ecumenical and Interfaith communications; peace and social justice; clean water and food security; environmental sustainability; health and human services; education; spiritual development and associated support groups. We support & promote programs aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Luke 12:48 says "To whom much is given, much shall be required."
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of our Mission and Ministries. You and your family will continue to be remembered in our daily prayers... please send your prayer intentions to: PrayerRequests@FranciscanHermits.org.
We also continue to invite you to join us in praying the rosary for WORLD PEACE by joining our Perpetual Rosary Association found at https://RosariesForPeace.com. It is free to join, and your intentions will be included in our daily prayers. Please share this post with your friends who pray the rosary, so we can all be United in this effort Our Lady has asked of us in the many places throughout the world she has appeared.
Please know you and your families are All in my thoughts and prayers each day... May we all be encouraged by the promises of the Gospel to bring us Everlasting Life.
PEACE and LOVE Always...
Br. Paul, OFH Founder and Guardian of the Order of Franciscan Hermits