Memorial — Saint Francis of Assisi

“She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.” (Luke 10:39.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed during today’s Mass:

“What was Mary enjoying while she was listening? What was she eating? What was she drinking? Do you know? Let’s ask the Lord, who keeps such a splendid table for his own people, let’s ask him. “Blessed,” he says, “are those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, because they shall be satisfied.” It was from this wellspring, from this storehouse of justice, that Mary, seated at the Lord’s feet, was in her hunger receiving some crumbs. You see, the Lord was giving her then as much as she was able to take. But as for the whole amount, which he was going to give at his table of the future, not even the disciples, not even the apostles themselves, were able to take in at the time when he said to them, “I still have many things to say to you, but you are unable to hear them now.”

What was Mary enjoying? What was she eating? I’m persistent on this point, because I’m enjoying it too. I will venture to say that she was eating the one she was listening to. I mean, if she was eating truth, didn’t he say himself, “I am the truth”? What more can I say? He was being eaten, because he was the Bread. “I,” he said, “am the bread who came down from heaven.” This is the bread which nourishes and never diminishes.” (Sermon 179)

O God,
by whose gift Saint Francis
was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility,
grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps,
we may follow Your Son,
and, through joyful charity,
come to be united with You.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen