“O My Goodness!”
At the village of Poggio Bostone, St. Francis is said to have preached one of his first and most brief homilies. “Bon giorno, buona gente!”…Good morning, good people!” “Good” is such a wonderful word. I don’t think we use it enough. It was one of St. Francis ‘favorites.’ So much of reality is just that…good! Sometimes it doesn’t look like that in the darkness of the moment. The motto of the Franciscan Order remains, “Peace and every good.” It is a heart-full St. Mary’s greeting. A lot of peace-making and serenity comes from the deep realization that everything is full of goodness. I have seen so much of it in all of you whom I have met over these past months in the midst of the COVID shelter in place and the demonstrations in the streets. We sat on the porch of the friary and passed out chilled water to some of those walking the BLM protests a month or so ago. I was moved to see a few good faces of parishioners and religious leaders I knew. I see it also in the generosity of the parish staff and the hard work of the volunteers and minsters doing hospitality for our reconstituted Sunday and weekday liturgies. I see in our interaction with the poor on weekends, especially by our very busy St. Vincent de Paul and the commitment of the You-Fra and Secular Franciscans.
Jeremiah has a fire burning in his heart. He feels compelled to speak God’s word in the marketplace and in the temple even though it has some very dire consequences for him. The Responsorial Psalm noted the thirst of the soul for God. Last week was the feast of St. Augustine. In his “Confessions,” he notes the longing of human beings to reach out to their Creator. “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.” That line summarizes a central theme of being a disciple. St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans invites us to many conversions. His words remind me of an old St. Mary’s football coach who was known to say…” Be agile, mobile but not fragile!” St. Paul says to be transformed, not conformed…to this age.” Matthew’s Gospel shows us Peter getting his foot caught in his mouth again. After the keys of the Kingdom were presented as we noted last weekend, he rebukes the Master for talking about his own coming death. Jesus’s words were so important to the community of St. Matthew. Denying self and carrying our own crosses is complicated work. Religious education for adults and children is about to begin here at St. Mary’s. Be sure your little ones and interested adults are registered for fall on-line classes. We begin to pray for those considering joining our Catholic community at Easter.
New vocation posters arrived from our national office this week. If you remember we OFM Franciscans are in process of national merger in 2023. We have an amazing front porch on our Basilica friary and parish office with the arms of St. Francis and Jesus crossed over it in blessing. A lot of good “CHURCH” has been done under that sacred image of those crossed arms. We are in this together, as “co-heirs to eternal life,” as the 2nd Eucharistic prayer says.
A gentle week.
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM