A good friend to one of our Friars, who, with his wife, make a yearly pilgrimage to visit the Friary in Philadelphia has posted on his blog a remarkable tale of his journey on a novena of fast days. What is particular poignant about this man, is, not only his "no-frills" approach and perspective to life, but his genuine honesty, at times without much tact, but always cleverly witty. I was struck by his post because it involves another friend of the community and it provides a keen example to what the Gospel for this the Memorial of St. Francis (we Mercedarian tremble and shake when we utter that name.... hahahaha). The example is a reflection of the self-sacrificial love of Christ that is mirrored in the small actions of man.
The Gospel gives us the story of the Samaritan. We all know the story so I don't have to get into the details of retelling it again. Nevertheless, we seem to look over the point of the story. It isn't about simply doing a good deed for one in need. It's about being clothed in THAT NEW MAN so that the fiber of your being emanates and resonates the true and kenotic love of Christ. This new fiber most especially finds its fulfillment and reverb when we can show, with a pure and clean heart, true LOVE to those who have hurt us, who are our "enemies".... When we can do this, the message of the Gospel will not be in vain.