As we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity retell a story told by Saint Bonaventure in the Major Legend of Saint Francis in Chapter Seven Entitled “His love of Poverty and Miraculous Fulfillment of Needs.” It resembles the Gospel account of Jesus appearing in the guise of a pilgrim to his disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus.
“On a certain Easter Day the brothers in the hermitage of Greccio set the table more carefully than usual, with white clothes and glassware. The Father came down from his cell and went to the table. He saw that it was elevated and elaborately decorated, but he did not smile at all at that smiling table. He secretly tiptoed away, put on his head the hat of a poor man who was there at the time, and with a staff in hand, went outside. He waited outside, at the door, until the brothers had started eating. They were accustomed not to wait for him when he did not come at the usual signal.
As they began to eat, that true poor man cried out at the door: ‘For the love of the Lord God, give alms to this poor, sick pilgrim!’ And the brothers replied: ‘Come in, man, for the love of Him you invoked.’ He quickly came in, and showed himself to those dining. You can imagine the surprise the pilgrim provoked in those homebodies! The beggar was given a bowl and, sitting on the ground by himself, placed his dish on the ashes. ‘Now,’ he said, ‘I am sitting like a Lesser Brother!’ And he said to the brothers,: “The examples of the Son of God’s poverty should move us more than other religious. I saw here a table all prepared and decorated, and recognized it as not the table of poor men who go door to door.” The chain of events proves that he was like another pilgrim who was alone in Jerusalem on that same day. And he certainly made the hearts of his disciples burn as he spoke.'”
Watch with us for Jesus in our midst this day. Blessings on the entire Easter Season and beyond from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.