Gospel Reflection Friday (15 July) – 15th week Ordinary Time – St Bonaventure
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (12: 1-8) in which Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about his disciples picking corn to eat on the Sabbath. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Bonaventure, whose memorial we celebrate today.
Fr Paul says Bonaventure was born at Bagnoregio in Eturia in about 1218. He became a Franciscan in 1243 and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Paris. He was a friend and colleague of St Thomas Aquinas.
At this time in the Church’s history, Friars (as was Bonaventure), because of their radical embracing of poverty and the rejection of institutional structures, were seen as suspicious. They were seen as opposition, so Bonaventure defended the order he belonged to against this.
As a result, Bonaventure was elected the General of the order in 1255 and he ruled it with wisdom and prudence. He declined being the Archbishop of York in 1265 but was made Cardinal Bishop in Albano in 1273 and died a year later in 1274 at the Council of Lyon. Bonaventure was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1588.
So, Fr Paul says, as we celebrate his life today, we pray, ‘St Bonaventure, Pray for us!’