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We See Jesus in the Poor
Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
Source: The Simple Way
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013

St. Francis stands as an icon of radical gospel poverty. He is called Il Poverello, “the little poor one.” And he tried always to be who he professed himself to be. He stands today as the ideal his Franciscan brothers measure their own lives against, asking themselves how they compare to their founder.

One day St. Francis heard one of his brothers say to a poor little man who was begging alms, “How do I know you’re not really rich and pretending to be in need?” He was deeply saddened. He severely rebuked the brother who had dared to utter such words and ordered him to strip before the beggar and beg his pardon, kissing his feet.

Who knows whether someone we give alms to is worthy? And who is ever worthy, including us, of the alms God has given us?

We give because Jesus reached out to the poor, because Jesus became poor for our sake, thus making of every beggar an image of himself that we can either reach out to for love of Jesus, or not.

—Adapted from The Simple Way: Meditations on the Words of Saint Francis, by Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

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