Gospel Reflection Wednesday 26th Week Ordinary Time (4 October) – St Francis of Assisi
Today, Anne O’Brien, reads from the Gospel of Matthew (11: 25-30) in which Jesus says ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ Afterwards, Anne shares a little about the life of St Francis of Assisi whose memorial we celebrate today. Anne says St Francis of Assisi, a very popular saint much-loved by many people, is most famous for his deep commitment to poverty, his love for animals and nature, and his founding of the Franciscan Order. St Francis is known for his radical embrace of poverty and a simple lifestyle. He renounced his family’s wealth and chose to live a life of extreme simplicity, which inspired many followers to do the same. His commitment to poverty was reflected in the Franciscan vow of poverty taken by members of the Franciscan Order. St Francis had a profound love and respect for the natural world. He is often associated with preaching to the birds and animals and is considered the patron saint of ecology and the environment. St Francis founded the Franciscan Order (Order of Friars Minor) in the early 13th century. The Order’s members, known as Franciscans, followed his teachings of poverty, humility, and service to others. The Franciscan Order has had a significant and lasting impact on the Catholic Church and has continued to influence Christian spirituality. St Francis of Assisi is one of the most beloved and venerated saints in the Catholic Church. His humility, compassion, and dedication to living a Christ-like life have made him a source of inspiration for countless people around the world. St Francis of Assisi is celebrated for his extraordinary life. Anne closes with this prayer: Lord God, grant us the courage to bear witness to your light and your truth. We prayer that like St Francis may we reflect your teachings and devotion to humility, peace, and love for all living creatures. Continue to bless your Church with the men and women like St Francis who will be the true leaders needed in our time. May St Francis inspire us all in the service of your kingdom. Amen.