May the Lord give you peace. Whenever you go to Mass on Sundays or during the week do you really listen to the Gospel, to the Word of God being proclaimed? After a few dramatic experiences in his life that led to his conversion Francis went to Mass in this little chapel, the Porziuncola, not too far from Assisi on February 24th 1208 and there he heard the following Gospel being proclaimed:“Jesus said, “As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payments; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.” (Mt 10: 7-14)
Hearing this gospel changed Francis’ life forever. Of this incident, Francis’ first biographer Friar Thomas of Celano wrote: “One day the gospel was being read in that church about how the Lord sent out his disciples to preach. The holy man of God, who was attending there, in order to understand better the words of the gospel, humbly begged the priest after celebrating the solemnities of the Mass to explain the gospel to him. The priest explained it all to him thoroughly line by line. When he heard that Christ’s disciples should not possess gold or silver or money, or carry on their journey a wallet or a sack, nor bread nor a staff, nor to have shoes nor two tunics, but that they should preach the kingdom of God and penance, the holy man, Francis, immediately exulted in the spirit of God. “This is what I want,” he said, “this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart.”
After this incident Francis said: “No one showed me what I was to do, but God revealed to me that I should follow the way of the Gospel.”
If you are interested in the Franciscan way of life I encourage you to read and reflect on the Word of God, to listen to the Gospel when you are present at the celebration of the Eucharist and to pray that God will reveal to you what you should do.
If you want any help in your discernment I am at your service so please do not hesitate to contact me at: [email protected]
God bless you.