March 23.  Solidarity and a common vision.   Nathan contributed his thoughts,  “I find it interesting but also a worry.  In March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was still in its early days, Pope Francis and the WHO president kept emphasizing the need for solidarity in dealing with it.  “We are all in the same boat, all in this together” they reminded us and I do believe that most people agreed and felt the same and we had a positive attitude towards the threat we were facing.  But nations and leaders and parties soon started to want to do their own thing and act out of self-interest even when it came to developing a vaccine. The current war now into its 2nd year, resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had an impact on almost every country of the world and the world in general has suffered, in part because of sanctions and partly through the cost of offering help, such as care of refugees, but also through supplying the weapons of war.   

Scripture: The Lord said to Moses, ”Go down for your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside and made for themselves a molten calf and worshipped it. I have seen this stiff-necked people, now let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them.”  But Moses begged the Lord and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people?”. And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.  From Ex 32:7-14.

Pope Francis: As I was writing this letter (Fratelli Tutti) the Covid-19 pandemic unexpectedly erupted, exposing our false securities.  Aside from the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis their inability to work together became quite evident. FT 7Our own days seem to be showing signs of a certain regression. Ancient conflicts thought long buried are breaking out anew while instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise. Once more we are being reminded that each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations while setting its sights even higher.  FT11

The common vision of St Francis and St Clare. At a young age, Clare developed a deep spirituality and was drawn to the teachings and lifestyle of Francis. She met with him on a number of occasions until finally, at the age of 18 in the middle of the night after Palm Sunday, she left her parents’ home and found her way to Francis and the brothers.  There Clare made her commitment to God and to the poor and simple lifestyle that Francis preached. Even when her uncles came to try to remove her from the convent where Francis had placed her, Clare did not waver. She was happy when other women, also some of nobility and her younger sister, joined her. Like Francis, she cared for her followers, taught them by word and example, wrote for them a simple rule of life, modelled on that of Francis, except that the sisters were contemplative and did not leave their convent. She stood up to bishops and popes for the privilege of living the life to which she felt called.  Her rule for her sisters was finally approved on her deathbed in 1253.

Followers of Francis and Clare can be found today in every walk of life and on every continent—still joyful, still seeking a simple lifestyle, still seeking to love and follow the God who lives in their own depths and in all of creation. Theirs remains a common vision: identification with the poor, care for creation as a sacred trust, embrace of each person in relationship as sister or brother. From Franciscan Media.  Reflect, share, act, pray. Spend some time on a common project together as a family. How well do we work together?