Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day - A Franciscan Reflection

Among the stories about St. Francis of Assisi is the one where Francis and his companion, Brother Masseo, had gone through an Italian town, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Evening was coming, so they went around the town, begging alms for their evening meal.  Francis, thin and gaunt, was not too successful; while Masseo, a handsome lad, was able to gather a few whole loafs of bread.  They met outside of town, and found a flat stone next to a running brook of clear water. 

After they had placed their food on the stone, Francis looked at the scene, sighed and said to Masseo that they had so much to be thankful for; they were not worthy of such great gifts.  Masseo thought that Francis had been in the sun too long.  Here they were, sitting in an open field; no table or place settings; and only with just enough bread to keep hunger at bay.  Francis replied that they should be thankful, for everything they had, the bread, the stone that was their table, the brook that would provide their drink; this all came not from their efforts, but from God, their Father. 

The Father, in great ways and small, continues to show His love for us.  He helps us through the bad times, helps us see the beauty, the good at all times in our lives.  So let us be thankful.

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