Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis > https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/16267615/

Reflection for today:

September 17, 2014     1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13;   Luke 7: 31-35

St. Paul leaves no doubt about the transforming power of love in today’s first reading. He admonishes the Christians at Corinth that unless they do everything with love … all is in vain. Paul says … love never fails! Love takes us to greater things … it is transformative.

Jesus does something similar in the Gospel when He confronts the people and points out their lack of enthusiasm and conviction. They have closed their ears and their hearts … and do not recognize God’s presence among them. They need an infusion of love to experience abundant life.

The people in the Gospel are indifferent … play them a happy tune … they don’t dance. Sing a sad song … they don’t mourn. Observe a strict fast, like John the Baptist did … and they call him possessed. Participate in life and enjoy a feast, like Jesus did … and they call Him a glutton.

Sometimes … you just can’t win.

Indifference and closed heartedness prevent an appropriate response to the message of the Gospel.

Today … Franciscans throughout the world celebrate the Stigmata of St. Francis … that event when Francis … a great lover of Christ … a follower of the Gospel … a man whose open heart led him to radical transformation … was privileged to have the wounds of Christ impressed into his own flesh.

St. Francis of Assisi gave us an example of a radical response to the Gospel. As we join Franciscans around the world commemorating the Stigmata of Francis today … may we too … be wise and loving followers of Jesus … eager to participate in the life giving message of the Gospel.

 

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