It is 4th October 2018. We celebrate the memorial of St Francis of Assisi, Deacon. The readings are from Job 19:21-27; and the Gospel from Luke 10:1-12. For us, Franciscan women and men it is the feast day celebration. We thank God for calling us to live the Gospel in the spirit of St. Francis founded on universal brotherhood. Francis had a such a powerful connection with God that he could call, handle and relate with every tiny creation as his siblings. Everyone wants to claim St. Francis as an inspiration just for his spirit of reconciliation and peace that he practiced and preached in his seraphic wounds that the Lord imprinted on him to experience the love of God. In every encounter, Francis could witness God supremely present and he continued to acknowledge God’s goodness in a simple, humble and obedient way. The Gospel way of life to ‘take nothing for journey’ propelled his life with his followers as lesser brothers in the world. The commitment to follow Christ in St. Francis was unwavering until he embraced Sister Death on this very day we celebrate his glorious life. To be a follower of Christ, one needs to know and experience God as Francis did. In the first reading we are reminded by Job that there will be some friends who would persuade us to try the other people and options when faced with the life situations which we are not in control. Some of our friends want to replace God in our lives. Some other friends surely mislead us to deny and move away from God who is not responding the way we wanted. God offers us every situation whether it is painful or joyful to know that God has not forgotten us. When life pampers us with the comfort, we tend to forget God, become more materialistic, over-protective and hyper-sensitive relationship. Nothing will go wrong when we know and believe who God is. If we know God who is the Vindicator and Redeemer of our life, we do not need to be afraid of the challenges and frustrations of life that pop us perpetually. God has lavished us with gifts enough to live in this world. It is the greedy attitude that makes us feel still wanting something more and leaving the best we have already. Let us celebrate life as Job just because we have placed our trust in God who would never disappoint us, ditch us and dump us. “For I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25). The responsorial Psalm praises, “I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” (Ps.26:13). The Gospel invites us to be a servant, a labourer and a worker in the vineyard of the Lord. To evangelise, we need work not mere words. We are the heralds of the Gospel to bring Christ to all people. “The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers to his harvest.” (Luke.10:2). Let us not become wolves wearing the lamb’s skin. Rather let us be the servants to love, heal and to be cared so that the people could feel the nearness of God and Christ in their lives. May God be praised in our lives as we thank God for all the Franciscans and their contributions to the Church and the society at large. May you have a good day.

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