Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Today we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi, being a "Memorial" ( the third rank of days in our calendar) it does not have its own readings, but we use the readings from the regular cycle. As providence would have it, the gospel is the famous story of Mary and Martha. Mary we are told has chosen the better part, and yet what does she actually do. She sits and listens. Not only does she sit, but she sits "προς" (near).

In some ways we have done a great disservice to St. Francis and the contribution of the Franciscans to the church over the centuries. We have reduced today to an image of St.Francis holding a bird, and a blessing of pets. Cute but not deep.

The gospel today touches something much more profound and necessary for our present age, the ability to sit, be quiet, and listen to the word of the Lord. Can we even do that any more? Luke 10:39 says she sat near the feet of the Lord, and listened to his words.-- a true expression of love, to sit and listen to someone.