Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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October 25, 2011

Rm 8,18-25 - Ps. 125 - Lk 13, 18-21

“The Lord has done great things for me”

With these words of Psalm 125, we want to thank the Lord in this Eucharist for the great things that He accomplishes in both our community and personal life. The General Chapter we are celebrating is a wonderful opportunity to witness to each other what the Lord is working in our lives and the lives of our Fraternities around the world.

 

It is really a blessing for all of us to be here and live these days together like a family. We have lived through these early days of the Chapter with great emotion and great fellowship. We feel deep in our hearts the joy and beauty of being brothers and sisters. We are a family gathered around Christ and we want his strength, the strength of his Gospel, that is, to help us to discern his ways during the times we are living.

We encounter many challenges, doubts, and sufferings on our journey, but we believe strongly in the presence of the Lord and in his sweet accompaniment. The hope and joy that we carry in our hearts are based on the promises of the Lord. For this reason, we can also say with St Paul, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

The Lord Jesus has revealed this wonderful plan of his Father, and today, in the Gospel, speaking of the Kingdom of God, he tells us what his Kingdom is like. He does so using two beautiful images. The first tells us that the Kingdom of God "is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden but it grew and became a tree, and birds of the sky perched on its branches". The second picture tells us that the Kingdom of God "is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour till it was all leavened."

In all two images we see that everything starts very simply, in silence, almost invisible, but the strength that lies within a grain of mustard seed or yeast, gradually leads to a major transformation.

They are images that help us understand the power of the Word of God and the new reality it can create in our lives – if we let his Gospel transform us. It is, therefore, a path of profound conversion. From these experiences and new initiatives can arise only new and evangelical initiatives that can transform also other people; courageous and prophetic initiatives that can gradually transform even the society in which we live.

Only then can we really understand what it means to pass from the Gospel to life and from life to the Gospel.