Commentary on the Gospel of
Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi
Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” Luke 10:17-24
Luke’s gospel easily leads us to ask ourselves, “What do we see and what do we hear?” As we walk to work and encounter a homeless person on the street do we see someone who is broken and needs our help or do we see someone who should just “stop drinking and get a job.” When we listen to the homily on Sunday and hear the call for action does it resonate with us; or do we say, “Let someone else in the parish take up that cross, I have way too much to do.”
On this the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi it is only appropriate to recall one of the many great stories about what St. Francis learned to see when he looked at the world around him. Francis was the son of a wealthy merchant in Rome and was in the marketplace selling his father’s wares when his eyes saw a beggar sitting with his hand outstretched but no one was willing to help him. Francis was overcome by the sight, pulled the beggar to the side, gave him money and more importantly they exchanged their clothes. Francis then spent the rest of the day in the beggar’s tattered cloak begging in front of St. Peter’s church. From this vantage point, Francis' view was completely changed and he realized that all people and creatures of the world were worthy of his love and kindness.
That we have read today’s readings and this reflection is a sign that we too are open to finding and seeing God in all things that are around us. So this week, we can slow down and take the time to “to see without looking and hear without listening” the world around us and then reflect on how we can share the love we have in our hearts with those less fortunate and to live a more Christ centered life.