Monday was the day to remember St. Francis of Assisi, 1226, whose influence continues to this day. Besides initiating social and religious reforms, he also left a powerful witness to God’s calling of all people to care for the earth while sharing with neighbour and stranger. The parish of St. George, Calgary, marked October 4 by holding a 24 hour Prayer Vigil with the intention of bringing before God those who are suffering from COVID-19 and its variants, as well as political and health care leaders whose responsibility it is to safely guide us through this pandemic.

As more people around the world become vaccinated we will be able to relax a little and ask, what have we learned? Will we have learned: 1. that all the people of the world are one family, and that when one suffers, all suffer; 2. that the gifts which God bestows upon us, such as the inspiration to manipulate physical things to produce vaccines, is a sign of God’s loving response to our cries for help; 3. that our daily actions are critical in maintaining the unique balance for life on this fragile planet?

May the faithful witness of St. Francis encourage all of us to walk gently on God’s creation.

Bible Reading: Psalm 148, Matthew 11:25-30