O Adonai : O Lord, Come and Stretch Out Your Mighty Hand to Set Us Free.
A reading from ‘The Legend of the Three Companions’ of Saint Francis.
As both the truth of blessed Francis’ simple teaching as well as that of his life became known to many, two years after his conversion, some men began to be moved to do penance by his example and, leaving all things, they joined him in life and habit. The first of these was Brother Bernard of holy memory.
He knew well how luxuriously blessed Francis had lived in the world; now he observed his constancy and zeal in the divine service, how, in particular, he was restoring dilapidated churches with a great deal of work, and what an austere life he was leading. He planned wholeheartedly to give everything he possessed to the poor and, with determination, to join him in life and garb.
Therefore one day, approaching the man of God in secret, he disclosed his plan to him, and arranged to have him come that evening to his home. Thanking God, for he did not then have a companion, blessed Francis was overjoyed, especially since Lord Bernard was a person of great stature.
On the appointed evening, blessed Francis came to his house, his heart filled with great joy, and spent that whole night there. Among many things, Lord Bernard said to him, ‘If, for many years, someone holds on to the possessions – many or few – he has acquired from his lord, and no longer wishes to keep them, what is the better thing for him to, do with them?’ Blessed Francis answered that he must give back to that lord what was received from him. And Lord Bernard said, ‘Then, brother, I want to give away all my worldly goods for the love of my Lord who gave them to me, as it seems best to you.’ The saint told him, ‘We will go to the church early in the morning and, through the book of the gospels, we will learn how the Lord instructed his disciples.’
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai Mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
Be sure to visit us tomorrow for O Radix Jesse …