Thursday, October 04, 2012

St. Francis of Assisi - Gave away his wealth


“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5: 3)

Today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. His feast day is today.  He lived the above scripture.  The Entrance Antiphon of the Mass of his feast reads:

"Francis, a man of God, left his home and gave away his wealth to become poor and in need.  But the Lord cared for him."
And Jesus fulfilled for him this promise:
"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."  (Matthew 19: 29)

The poor in spirit are promised the kingdom of God.  Christ also promises to those who seek first His kingdom and righteousness the fulfillment of all their needs.  (Matthew 6:33)  St. Francis of Assisi got the best of both worlds.

The Opening Prayer of the Mass of St. Francis reads:

"Father, you helped St. Francis to reflect the image of Christ through a life of poverty and humility.  May we follow your Son by walking in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, and by imitating his joyful love..."

Francis left everything to follow Christ.  Therefore, he can say:

"LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you have made my destiny secure.
*Pleasant places were measured out for me;
fair to me indeed is my inheritance."  (Psalm 16: 5 - 6)

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