Wednesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi
October 4, 2017
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
Today’s readings talk about the cost to be paid to gain Jesus. The Gospel reading clearly says we must renounce the World, our bodies and our very self and live in the Jesus World, Jesus Flesh and in Jesus himself. How Jesus lived when he was on earth? Jesus lived from the Cradle to the Cross in Poverty and simplicity. Not much given in the Bible on the Physical life of Jesus but in today’s Gospel clearly indicates that he does not possessed anything on this Earth. The women Disciples helped Jesus for his survival. Finally, his Body and self-respect also ripped off and Crucified on the Cross. We must live in poverty and simplicity to follow Jesus in our life. There is no other way and if we compromise with any other, Jesus says very clearly that he or she is not fit to become his disciple. Jesus himself did not believe in his followers because their motive to follow Jesus was self-gain and self-love. The self-Centeredness is the major block in today’s World to put Jesus first place in our life. If at all we put him in the first place but in the time of Witnessing and challenging we compromise for a while betray Jesus values in our life and come back again with new adjustments. This kind of Spirituality can be found among many committed Christians. Jesus is calling People to become the real disciples for him who can live for his values without any fear of suffering and death. We can do this only if we consider all things rubbish of this World as St. Paul says in the Gospel acclamation.
The suffering and Poverty are acts of love to Jesus. If we say we believe Jesus then we must be ready to suffer and live in poverty for Christ and others. The Servant Nature of Christ comes from Suffering and poverty. We must offer these things as a living sacrifice to God. We also must renounce self-pride and live in Spiritual poverty or poor in Spirit. Jesus can live in our heart or his values of the Gospel can be revealed only to poor and humble of heart. For the rest Jesus cannot reveal his power due to lack of Faith. This is the reason in the old testament and Jesus time and times of the Apostles very few people trusted God and became true disciples but people who left everything for Jesus, he revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.
St. Francis of Assisi was one of the Saints who left everything for Christ and wrote a rule of Poverty and Simplicity and labour backed up by prayer and Obedience. He started the Congregation of Franciscan Friars and spread all over the world. St. Francis had great love for Muslims and wanted to reach out to them but due to his ill health could not witness. St. Francis’s strategy of evangelisation is of love, if it is required then only he was using Words to spread the Gospel otherwise he was presenting the Word of God in action by Service and Example. St. Francis got a vision to rebuild the Church. In the old testament Nehemiah who was living in Exile gets an encouragement to plead the Pagan King to ask to re build the Temple. The Pagan King provides everything to Nehemiah. St. Francis rebuilds the Church with Poverty, prayer, suffering, simplicity and great love to the Nature, Animal, sun and Moon. Jesus in return revealed to St. Francis, the mysteries of love the gift of five wounds the Stigmata. Pope Francis takes the name of St. Francis as a sign to rebuild the Church in Poverty, Prayer, Suffering and simplicity, labour and love. He also calls all the followers of Christ to live a true Christian life by renouncing the World, Flesh and Evil.