As we proclaim the good news, remember that it is “good” news and not a set of condemnations and prohibitions. The gospel message is a call to intimacy, to love, to forgive, to embrace, to include, to bring joy, to offer hope, to develop relationships, to offer a path to a meaningful life, to challenge practices that may demean people.
Evangelical life focuses on what we are, not what we do. The goal of the life is to be a sister or brother to all, announcing the Good News in one’s example and deeds.
The message of Jesus is folly, in human terms. Anybody who spoke like Jesus today would be considered mad, only good for a psychiatrist. His message is not for the wise; those who think that they have the power, strength and knowledge to transform the world will not understand that the folly of His message is the gift of the Spirit and the transformation of their hearts. The message is for the wounded and the little ones, the poor ones, those who are awaiting the liberator and the good news. The deeply wounded person will always recognise the liberator, because the presence of Jesus will free him, bring him peace and strength and courage, and although he cannot understand the meaning of the little piece of bread and the wine, he knows that he needs them to be transformed.
~ Jean Vanier, Be Not Afraid via Heather King
That is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!” In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.
With this joyful certainty in our hearts, today we turn to you, risen Lord!
Pope Francis, Easter ‘Urbi et Orbi’ Message
Our Franciscanism is not just a private affair nor merely a personal road to sanctity. It is more then one’s belonging to an organization that assures spiritual benefits in an easily obtainable way.
Rather, our Franciscan way of life is a precious gift and an involving mission. By committing ourselves to the gospel of Jesus through observing the SFO rule of life, we become a living sacrifice of praise and thanks, and a vibrant witness of the Good News for all to see and hear.