Feast of St. Francis of Assisi Homily - 4th October 2020

I want to begin with immense gratitude for the most beautiful gift that both was and is our friend , and Brother Francis .The poor little man of Assisi walks the pathways of the world still in Companionship of Jesus from those working in cafes , churches , living with their families , those praying in hermitages , and in so many ordinary everyday situations. Our friend and brother walks with us extending the invitation of God to us have our broken hearts healed , listen to words of truth , and enter into life . To experience the goodness of God . The end is more important than the beginning because in the end is a new beginning , and the best will be yet to come .The end is the point that we begin from .Every day of our life is like a page of a book that is being written .Some pages contain love , joy , beauty , wonder .Some pages contain suffering , tears ,pain of separations , and for some rejection . God can turn everything in to wisdom .The goodness of God that flows out from this beautiful little poor man of Assisi can go that far , and even further if you allow God to enter into the very bread of your life and journey .The wisdom can be turned into something beautiful for the world . Whoever you are .Wherever you are in the world today .Whatever page of your story is being written Francis comes to you to extend an invitation. To listen to you .To embrace you .To love you , and say " Come let us walk together from the heat of this day in to the cool breeze of the evening where we may taste of the goodness of God together .Where we may journey from darkness to light together. Journey from death to life together . Have you been rejected ? Prevented from answering your God given calling by those who should know better ? Have they said you have not got the vocation you have ? Francis invites you to come to the room in the Father's House where he is , and fulfill it through Companionship of Jesus . The embrace of Francis shows us the very core of our vocation can be lived out in so many different places and ways while remaining in communion with your Brothers and Sisters .The mistake has been and always will be to adopt a one size fits all approach .To assume all vocations are the same or should be the same . There are many paths , but one destination . Are you being told by a community or church you are broken ? You are ugly ? Sinful ? You are outside of God's grace .Not worthy to receive sacraments because of your lifestyle or choices ? We all know what goes on and on by those who falsely bear the name Christian , and yet continue to crucify Christ in his precious sons and daughters . The poor little man of Assisi walks up to you today , and throws his arms around you . Francis loves you , and tells you " No you are beautiful , special , lovely .You move me to tears because I see the face of Christ in you . Do not listen to them .Come let us walk together in the Companionship of Jesus . Let us be Christ to each other , and others God places on our path .Yes Brothers and Sisters together ." Have you turned from organized religion ? No longer feel able to belong to the Christian community of your birth ? Have they sent you away for the crime of bringing light to other people or speaking words of truth ? Do you see a church full of lies , double standards , and hypocrisy ? Do you sometimes question if the light is in the church anymore , or has it become the house of darkness ? They are legitimate questions to ask with all that goes on today . The poor little man of Assisi comes to you , and takes you to a small , and ruined chapel with a crucifix .He points to it , and tells you " I came here at the start of the journey , and was told to rebuild the church .I can give you a way to do that with honesty and integrity through companionship of Jesus . Live the dream .Embrace the vision.Become the change that you hope for . With your Brothers and Sisters where all , married and celibate , straight and gay ,ordained and non ordain , Brothers and Sisters , active and contemplative , young and old e.t.c ,et,c ,et,c are all equal .All are equally loved , honoured , and cherished .All seen as having unique gifts , and something to contribute ." Do you find it difficult to find God Sunday after Sunday when you sit in a building bored , and asking what has this outdated ritual got to do with the reality of my everyday life , struggles ,and existence ? The poor little man of Assisi walks up to you and says ," Come let us leave this building that is in reality in ruins with its chairs never to be full again .Come let us walk through the forests , meadows , and on to the beaches .Let us sing and dance together as we go along and praise the beauty and wonder of God in all creation .In the animal and birds who are also our equal brothers and sisters .In the sun , rain , wind , and cold .In the passing of the Seasons that will teach us more than any any book , or homily about the goodness of God .There is a way to live this , and celebrate it through companionship of Jesus ." Are you afraid of the dying that is to come ? However much we love each other we can not avoid that .We all journey with knowledge of the dying to come . The rose contains the thorn .So with the beauty comes the suffering . The poor little man of Assisi comes to you and embraces you with a special love . He has a special word for you " I bow before the presence of Christ in all the sick , suffering , and dying .You are the treasure of the church because you are close to Christ in His sufferings .The wounds you you carry are just as holy as the wounds I carried of Christ .They are the same. Let's go back to the ruined chapel where the journey began all those years ago .You see the cross is empty now ? Jesus has gone from it . He has passed from it from death to life .So will you one day I promise you to a place where there is no more death , pain , suffering or separations , but only peace , love , and joy forever .There is a path for you through companionship of Jesus ." The end is more important than the beginning , because in the end is a new beginning . Hear this invitation that can but move us to tears from the poor little man of Assisi .Our friend and Brother Francis . Come and enter in to life .Be filled with the total and utter goodness of God this feast of Saint Francis 2020.To make and end is to make a beginning ,and the best will be yet to come for us . Brother Francis - Richard C.J Companions of Jesus - Vocations Director . Hermitage of Saint Michael and All Angels

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