I heard an interesting sermon last weekend on a topic previously unknown to me. A priest was giving a summary of the life of Saint Francis. Born into a wealthy family, Francis was torn between the pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps and his faith. According to a 13th century eye witness. Francis took off his clothes in public, stripping down until he was naked, giving his possessions to the poor. This act demonstrated Francis’ rejection of the world while placing his sole trust in his heavenly father. This leap of faith inspired the Lady Poverty movement resulting in amazing servants like Mother Teresa.
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you,” Leviticus 25:35.
Francis of Assisi traveled to the Vatican hoping to get a meeting with the Pope. The goal was to gain support from Rome so tht Francis’ calling would not be some rogue movement. Unfortunately, Francis’ first attempt failed, unable to get the blessing of the Roman Catholic Church. Years later Francis wrote a famous letter to Clare which led to his second visit to Rome. This time Francis was successful, getting the Pope’s blessing to start the Lady Poverty movement which still exists today. While I’m not encouraging people to literally follow in Francis’ footsteps, tackling poverty concerns in your area should suffice.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17.
The passage above should speak to every heart. While poverty may be hidden in some neighbors, a growing number of busy intersections are filled with people with signs begging for food or money at red lights. Although this may be a public nuisance in the eyes of local politicians, its a sad reality of broken families and people who have no one to help them in their time of need. The Bible eludes to Christians as the hands and feet of Christ. Yet, as cars continue to look the other away, passing by the poor suggests that the Lady Poverty movement is dying. In view of this, may hearts, minds and souls be drawn to lend a helping hand when you have the opportunity to give.
by Jay Mankus