Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi

Theme: Greater zeal for God

St. Francis of Assisi whose memorial we celebrate today is one of the Saints in the church who renounced their affluence background to embrace an austere life that is presented by the gospel of Christ. He willingly embraced poverty and served God with a humble and sincere heart. He lived a life that is worthy of emulation, and towards the end of his life, he received stigmata and experienced the pains of Christ. The zeal with which St. Francis served God was enormous and this reflected in a great way in the success of his service to God and humanity.

In our 1st reading of today from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he takes us down memory lane, on how zealous he was in his practice of Judaism, and the greater zeal with which he served God when he encountered him on his way to Damascus. His zeal increased far more than in his practice of Judaism. In the same way dearly beloved in Christ, we are all encouraged today to increase our zeal in the service of God; just like St. Paul presents to us today in the 1st reading. The zeal of the things of God should guide our actions at all times. That way we can build a solid relationship with God that will keep us focused on the things that are good and pleasing to God.

In the gospel reading, we are presented with the story of Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus. The actions of Mary and Martha are both good, but the response of Jesus is simply encouraging us to have the right priorities that will help us to make the right decisions and achieve our goal in life. Jesus was not condemning the service of Martha, he was rather guiding martha towards that which matters most; given the situation they found themselves. In the same way my brothers and sisters in Christ, we must learn to set our priorities right, so that we don’t end up making costly mistakes in our lives.

We pray today that through the intercession of St. Francis, God will grant us the grace to always make the right decisions in our daily life. May almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.


Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp