Posted by: fvbcdm | October 27, 2011

Feast of Saint Frumentius (27 Oct 2011)


Twenty-five years ago today the first Assisi Peace Meeting took place. It was the idea of Pope Blessed John Paul II, who invited all the religious leaders of the world to the Italian town of Assisi where Saint Francis of Assisi was born, spent much of his life, and then died in the 13th century. The Pope’s vision was of all religious persons of good will to come together to pray for “glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to all of good will.”  Today another of those Assisi conferences is taking place with a wide variety of religious rituals being performed.  Everything from Catholic Mass to Jewish readings of the Old Testament, to the striking of a gong by Buddhist monks or nuns, to the burning of material in a bowl by animist religious leaders from central Africa.  But whatever form it takes and in whatever language, the idea is the same: we, members of the human family, yearn for peace. And we know that we cannot have peace unless we call upon God and submit to his holy will to obtain it. The great poet Dante, of the same land as Francis of Assisi, says in his poetry: “In God’s will is our peace.”
As we come to Mass today, we hear Our Divine Lord saying to Jerusalem, the holy city of God’s chosen people: “How many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!”  It is God’s holy will that we live in unity and peace, under the protection of God.  I wonder how many of us have ever actually seen a hen gather her brood under her wings.  It is a tender, charming, beautiful scene—either to watch a hen settle carefully upon a clutch of eggs and bring them to life by her concern for them, her warmth, her protection from the elements and any enemy.  Or to watch the hen then gather the tiny chicks under her wings and keep them safe until they can fend for themselves.  There is something very moving about listening to the Savior of the world speaking of things like chickens and their way of life. He possesses all wisdom and knowledge, and yet he speaks of a hen and her eggs and chicks. When he wants to expresses great beauty in adornment and fine clothing, he says that even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of the millions of wildflowers in the fields surrounding the Lake of Galilee. We put these ideas together and we find that they add up to beauty, unity, peace, and human joy.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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