St. Bonaventure tells us that towards the end of his life St. Francis would tell the other friars: “Let us begin again, brothers, for up until now, we have done little or nothing.”

St. Francis of AssisiOne of Francis’s other biographers, Friar Thomas of Celano, tells us that Francis “did not consider that he had already attained his goal, but tireless in pursuit of holy newness, he constantly hoped to begin again.”

Pope Francis concludes his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” quoting chapter 21 of the Book of Revelation: “It is the Risen Christ who tells us, with a power that fills us with confidence and unshakeable hope: ‘Behold, I make all things new.'”

Today, as we start a fresh new year, we can listen to both of these men named Francis: one a saint and one a pope. 2017 gives us a new energy and a new perspective.

As many head out to buy health club memberships or try again to quit smoking, let us decide to make this a year when we work freshly and tirelessly to make the Reign of God more present in our world.

Let us begin again, my sisters and brothers, for up until now, we have done little or nothing.

Happy New Year from the US Franciscans!

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Jim McIntosh

Director, US Franciscans Communications at US Franciscans
A former missionary to Perú and Bolivia, I am now working half-time at a parish in New Jersey and half-time as director of communications for US Franciscans.
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