|Some of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal|
Readings for Wednesday, September 22:
Psalm 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163
When we look at the gospel for today and hear all the things that the apostles couldn’t bring with them when they went on a journey – a walking stick, money, food, clothing - you have to ask: what could they bring? In response to such a question, I am sure that the Lord would respond ‘Everything they need.’
In December of 2006 I went to visit the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in New York City to discern a possible call to their community. At one point in the week we were all sitting inside the house and one of the brothers drove up and everyone started to unload food. I asked what it was for and they explained that stores in the area would donate food to them and so they ate whatever was given. I thought it was neat to see them really living out the call to poverty. Then when I was about to leave I realized I needed exact change for the transit bus and I only had cash, so I asked one of the brothers if he had change for a dollar; he said no. Then I asked another; he said no. Then another; the same answer. Eventually I worked my way to the superior of the house, the leader of a group of 25 guys, and he was able to find 75 cents in his office, a rare thing, he explained. When I realized that even the superior of the house had only a few quarters I realized just how much they lived the spirit of the gospel passage.
In a very real way, they made the words of Proverbs, our first reading today, their own: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need.” From my point of view it was crazy that nobody had three quarters, and yet they truly had everything they needed. As we go throughout the rest of our day, may we have the grace to make those words our own and trust that the Lord, who looks after all of our needs, will indeed provide for us.