If Necessary, Use Words

There is a quotation often misattributed to St. Francis of Assisi. He may have said it, but most probably he did not originate it.

Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words.

It’s a powerful quote. The word Gospel, of course, means “Good News.” I believe it does not mean it is necessary to quote book, chapter, and verse. After all, when Jesus was asked, which was the most important commandment, He did not quote the commandments as given to Moses. Instead, He said, “Love God above all things with your whole heart and soul. The second is like it—you must love your neighbor as yourself.”

I know that if you look this up in Matthew or Mark, you’ll notice I did not share it verbatim. That was intentional. It’s the thought, not the words that is important.

Each of us shows love for God and our neighbors in our own way. I believe that’s what God planned and what Jesus was saying. With what you are; with whatever gifts you have to share; show your love for one another. Whether you have the ability to donate a new wing to a hospital or you can only smile and wish someone else well and pray for them, you are doing acts of love.

In these days it seems like there is acrimony everywhere. Someone needs to start the change. Maybe the people who need to act are you and me. It would not be much, but it would be a start.

This time, I will use a direct quotation:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have
loved you, you also are to love one another. 
                                                                                 
The Gospel according to John, 13:34

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