Once Francis of Assisi went with Brother Leo to a town to preach the gospel. Leo carried the Bible and other necessary things for preaching. Even though Francis saw many people along the way he did not preach even once. On their way back, the angry Leo asked the Saint why he did not preach even once. The Saint answered, our very life is our preaching.
Francis could say this because he carried the marks of Christ in his body. For this reason, some people today call him the second Christ. Through his Letter to Galatians, St Paul exhorts people to be a new creation by carrying the marks of Christ as he does. What are the marks of Christ? They are the Paschal mysteries of our Lord Jesus Christ, namely his suffering, death and resurrection.
St Francis lived these paschal mysteries in every aspect of his life. He is one of those saints who has got acceptance beyond the boundaries of any particular religion, class and land. The famous Peace Prayer is acclaimed as a uniting prayer for the world. But St Francis is much more than this prayer.
Why? Because he carried the marks of Christ.
Let this, our parish feast day, be an opportunity for us to think about becoming another Christ. Let us keep the prayer of Francis of Assisi in our heart.
”Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy”.
Father Paul Avarez