It is 04th October 2016. We celebrate the Memorial of St Francis of Assisi, the Deacon. For us, the Franciscans, it is the solemnity of our Seraphic Father Francis. The readings are from Galatians 1:13-24; and the Gospel from Luke 10:38-42. The little poor man of Assisi offers us a new consciousness, a new practice, and a new vision with his radical poverty, the unquestionable obedience to Christ and His Church and the inclusive embrace of the creation with the purity of heart and mind in his chastity. The gentleness and kindness of St. Francis of Assisi has a divine rhythm which connects to human and all creation. The another Christ reversed the values of generosity to God and a total dependence on the providence of God. His closeness to the creation more especially to the animals was only an extension of his inner peace and the connection to the Most High God. The maiden stigmatist never lacked the wisdom of the Cross and embraced everyone like His Master and Redeemer Jesus. His preferential option for the poor emanated from his personal understanding and living of the Lady Poverty. The unique path of the universal brotherhood and sisterhood with the inclusive spirituality of human integrity envisioned by Francis of Assisi inspires to bring out our unique and genuine way of relating with God, humanity and creation. The personal prayer life, silence and solitude reflected in the life of St. Francis is indeed the need of the hour for the church today. The little Prince of Peace invites us to put on the mantle of serenity and sensitivity of being the instruments of peace in the milieu we live in. The cry of the saint is still echoes in all our lives: “Let us begin again for up until now we have done nothing.” As the first reading suggest, we all can become the troubadours of the Good News no matter however horribly sinful past we had. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Lead me, O Lord, in the path of life eternal.” (Ps.138:24). The Gospel proposes the Two Way to serve the Lord: the Action Way and the Contemplation Way. St. Francis of Assisi is the model for blending the Action and Contemplation in serving our Lord Jesus. May I wish all of you a very happy feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Through his powerful intercession may we resemble Christ in our conduct and closeness to the realities of lives. May God bless you all.

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