Our Lady and Sheen

Missed opportunity in Assisi

This past Sunday, I had the great fortune to assist at Mass in Assisi, in the Chapel of Peace, one of the oldest parts of the Franciscan Convent there.

The LORD said to Elijah: “You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.”

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.” Elijah answered, “Go back! Have I done anything to you?” Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant. – 1Kgs 19:16b, 19-21

In the place not too far from where Bishop Guido threw his cloak around St. Francis as he returned all his worldly possessions to his father, this was the first reading for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The coincidence was incredible and amazing, yet the Franciscan priest did not even hit upon this.  Rightly so, he spoke of vocation.  First to Holiness, then to religious, priestly, married or single life.

I would just like to express a few thoughts I had on the matter.

Moments before Mass I was looking at the frescoes of the Life of St. Francis by Giotto di Bondone, and was most excited to see the fresco of the “Renunciation of Worldly Goods.”  In it Francis has just returned all of his clothing to his father, who, after finding out Francis had sold a significant amount of goods (that belonged to his father) and given the money away,  demanding in front of the bishop an accounting for all that belonged to Francis and all that belonged to his father.  Francis removes his cloak, because it was from his father, and then continued until he was completely naked.  At this, in the fresco, the bishop wraps his cloak around the scandalously clad man, and Pietro di Bernardone, Francis’s father has his right hand restrained from hauling off and hitting Francis.

All of this fresh in my mind, and not coming to any conclusions that have not been come up with before, I find that the wrapping of the cloak around Francis becomes the call to Francis to truly become a prophet for his time.  Francis heralds a return to simple living in an age where the Church is the most powerful agent in the secular world.  A simple man, dressed in a simple tunic with his simple cord, cries out for repentance amongst the nations, and charity throughout the world.

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July 2, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

1 Comment »

  1. St. Francis, pray for us.

    Comment by Christine Pennacchio | July 2, 2010 | Reply


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