Jesus came to this world to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4: 18 – 19). And he founded the Holy Church in order to continue this mission till the end of the world. But as the ages passed, Church forgot her original mission and slipped into lavishness and worldliness. In this situation God graciously choose St. Francis of Assisi, who is also known as the Second Christ, to teach the world about the greatness of poverty and how God protects those who put their complete trust in him.
Till twenty years of his life he lived a luxurious life as the son of a silk merchant. Making noise and singing loudly in the streets, he created a lot of trouble and disturbance. But when he received the call of God, he completely stripped off the old man in him. In the same street in which he was a disturbance, he walked in silence. He became ready to share the profit of his father’s business with the poor and the needy. When his father got angry with him for helping the poor, he handed over even the garments he wore to his father and made himself worthy to call God freely and sincerely as ‘My Father in Heaven’.
Francis unveiled the beauty of poverty throughout his life. Considering poverty as his own sister, he did penance for the luxurious life in the Church by making himself a mendicant. Realizing the presence of God revealed in the nature, he proclaimed the word of God to all the creatures. Thus he shared his God experience to the whole world.
The life of St. Francis of Assisi teaches us that the best and the easy way to find peace of mind is to love God and the nature. After the model of St. Francis, let us realize that the pleasure and the happiness that this world can provide us is merely momentary. May his life and example help us to seek always the will of God in our lives and to live an austere life.
Rev. Fr Joseph Mundolickal CST