Who do you say you are? August, 2020

Who do you say that you are?

This weekend, I participated in the National Formation Directors Workshop. I learned a great deal; but, what keeps resounding in my head is from the talk that Father Christopher Panagoplous, T.O.R. President in Turn of the CNSA, gave at the opening on Friday night.

He referred to today’s (8/22/20) Gospel from Matthew, chapter 18.  Jesus asked the apostles “But who do you say that I am?”  Father Chris took that question and asked all of us “But who do you say that you are? When someone says “Tell me a little about yourself”, what comes out of your mouth first?  How do you see yourself and in what order of importance? Well, I’m a widow, I love to garden, I rescue hospice dogs, I’m a ‘pre-reader’ for several of my favorite authors, I’m a penpal to several prisoners, I crochet winter scarves for the homeless, I’m a cantor, lector and Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at my parish, I do a lot of different kinds of crafts, I love old black and white movies and oh yeah….I’m a Secular Franciscan.

Oh yeah,…I’m a Secular Franciscan????? As if that is an afterthought, or at the bottom of the list.  All the other things are what I do.  Being a Secular Franciscan is who I am!

If I’m not seeing it as first in my life how can anyone else see it?  Can anyone see from the way I live my life that being a Secular Franciscan is who I say I am?  In this craziness we are living in now, do I stand by when a group of neighbors are having a racist conversation? Do I faithfully recycle and put a full bin out on collection days? During this time of ‘sheltering-in-place’ have I reached out to anyone outside my circle of family and friends to see how they are doing?

While we have this time on our hands thanks to the pandemic, why not take an inventory of who you are and what you do and see if things need to be reorganized a bit? All of us can use a tune-up now and again.  Thanks, Father Chris, for the reminder!

1 comment to Who do you say you are? August, 2020

  • Elizabeth M Bueding

    This message was excellent, very thought-provoking. Usually A young person’s response to discovering someone is a Secular Franciscan is to ask,” What do you do?” We tell them to respond, “It’s not what we do, it’s who we are”. Being a Franciscan is the essence of our selves. It’s who we are.