Thursday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time
'The kingdom of heaven is at hand'
Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274), Franciscan, Doctor of the Church
Life of Saint Francis, Legenda major, ch. 3 (trans. ©Franciscan Institute of St Bonaventure University)
"Make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand' "
At the same time, another good man entered the Order [of Saint Francis], bringing the number of the man of God's blessed offspring to seven. Then the pious father called all his sons to himself and, as he told them many things about the kingdom of God, contempt for the world, the denial of their own wills, and the chastising of their bodies, he revealed his proposal to send them to the four corners of the world…
"Go," the gentle father said to his sons, "while you are announcing peace to the people, preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mk 1,4). Be patient in trials, watchful in prayer, strenuous in work, moderate in speech, reserved in manner, and grateful for favors, for because of all these things an eternal kingdom is being prepared for you" (Mt 5,3; Lk 6,20).
As they humbly prostrated themselves on the ground before God's servant, they accepted the command of obedience with a spirit of joy. Then Francis spoke to each one individually: "Cast your care upon the Lord, and he will sustain you" (Ps 54,23). He was accustomed to saying this phrase whenever he sent a brother under obedience. Knowing he should give himself as an example to others, he too then set out with one companion for one part of the world that he might first practice rather than preach (cf. Acts 1,1).
Source: ©Evangelizo.org 2001-2014