27th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
St. Franics of Assisi
GALATIANS 1:6-12 ; LUKE 10:23-37
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI has been among the most popular of the saints ever since his death in the year 1226. He lived only 44 years, having been born in 1186. His family background would hardly lead anyone to expect he would come to be considered the poor man of Assisi, for his father was a prosperous, wealthy merchant. For a time in his youth Anthony entered eagerly into the life of worldly enjoyments his social standing afforded him. That was changed dramatically by his encounter with the poor. After this dramatic conversion he came to be known as “the poor man of Assisi”. He did nothing by halves. He soon had followers who shared his life of generous poverty. To our present times many men and women have taken him as their guide, consecrating their lives to serving God in various degrees of poverty.
As we learn from the first reading today, Saint Paul could be very outspoken when he called a Church to proper behavior. The Church in Galatia was in a situation that called for blunt confrontation. He states in the most explicit language that to accept teaching contrary to the gospel he had set forth to them was a disaster. Those who taught such deviant beliefs were accursed. So strongly does he feel this challenge to the true faith that he repeats this anathema (the term that is translated as “accursed”).
The apostle does not stop with that condemnation. He goes on to state in a positive manner that his preaching is the gospel given him directly by Jesus the Christ in a revelation. The community in Galatia is called upon to believe. Belief is a response freely given to God; basically it is an act of trust.
We today are in the same situation as were the Galatians. We are to put our trust in God Himself by choosing to believe in the Gospel and in the Church that Christ founded. Trusting faith remains basic in our relation to the Lord throughout our life.
Today’s Gospel text emphasizes a practical and essential companion to faith, namely, love of God and of neighbor. By attending to the example of the Good Samaritan we are reminded that to practice the commandments of love involves at times very practical acts of assistance to one in need. May the Eucharist we offer here today give us the strength and light we need to put into effect the message of these Scriptural teachings. In this way we will join Saint Francis of Assisi who gave such a loving response to Jesus our Savior.