Attention Deacons! The Church Must “Si Spoglia” Her Riches

Pope Francis will be making a day-long pilgrimage to Assisi tomorrow in honor of St. Francis, who feast day is October 4. In comments he has made in the past week, he said the Church needs to shed (si spoglia) her riches.

St. Francis, after his conversion stood in the town square and literally shed all his clothing in an act of utter poverty and humility. He did that after having given away all his material possessions.

Our Holy Father has continually roused all of us who are in Holy Orders (deacons, priests and bishops) out of our complacency and is calling us to go out to those on the periphery of the Church to encounter them and bring them home. He has made comments such as we must carry the smell of the poor on our clothing and our bodies by becoming that close to them in their need. He has called us to shed anything and everything that may hinder us from clothing ourselves with Jesus and his Gospel which must be preached to the entire world. He has reminded us that the Second Vatican Council called for dialogue with the world so as to transform that world.

If I may be so bold, I will say that Francis has been living out the  life of a deacon. Even though the Holy Father has not mentioned deacons in his talks (at least as far as I know) he is modeling for all deacons what we are to do and look like.

We are sent forth to bear witness to the presence of Jesus and to proclaim the Gospel. We are to do so without any trappings of this world that might hinder us.

It seems that in the upcoming weeks and months we need to be open to our Holy Father’s lead. He is leading us to the periphery, and for some this is a bit frightening.

Remember, Francis is Peter. Francis is the Rock.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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