December 16.  Day of Reconciliation.   Canticle 8. PRAISED BE YOU, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your Love and bear infirmity and tribulation.   Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.  

In their family group Anthony said, “This statement has always seemed unclear to me until I read a version that made sense.  ‘Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon because they love you and bear infirmity and tribulations.’   Surely it has to do with forgiving others because I love God, who always forgives and shows me how.“  Jackson explained, “The event to which this statement of the Canticle refers came about while Francis was already ill and not long before his death. I’ll tell you the story.”

Adapted from St Francis UNCENSORED.   “In the town of Assisi the bishop and the mayor couldn’t stand each other and refused to have anything to do with each other. The situation carried on for months until one day the bishop excommunicated the mayor. The mayor in return forbade citizens to do business with the bishop. The situation worsened and Francis decided to get involved.  After praying he decided what to do.  Although already ailing Francis called the enemies to a meeting where he would mediate. However, his illness worsened and he knew he was near to death so was forced to send two friars instead with a short message from him. “It is a great shame for us, servants of the Lord that the bishop and mayor hate each other without anyone bothering to make peace.” The two enemies were baffled. Next followed a reading of a new verse that Francis had added to his Canticle of the Creatures.   “Praise be you, my Lord, for those who give pardon for love of you and bear infirmity and tribulation, for by you Most High they will be crowned.” The two men and the crowd of onlookers still remained mystified but many nodded in agreement. The bishop and the mayor  consulted with their advisers and they too nodded their agreement. From that day they made peace and friendship and respect between them was achieved. Francis’ special gift for “extreme ministry” once again saved the day.”

Scripture: I will hear what the Lord God speaks; he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful. His salvation is near for those who fear him and his glory will dwell in our land. Psalm 85.  Pope Francis: A healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures and leads to heartfelt repentance and a desire to change.  To achieve such reconciliation with creation we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act.   We need to experience a conversion or change of heart. LS 218.   For Reflection and sharing. As a family reflect on and prepare for a Christmas confession as well as a moment of family reconciliation.