Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
Our saint for today, Elizabeth of Hungary, is truly an amazing character in church history. She was born of the Aragonese royal family in 1271. As a young maiden she was given in marriage to the king of Portugal and bore him two children. She bravely endured afflictions and troubles through prayer and words of charity. When her husband died she distributed her property to the poor and received the habit of the Third Order of Saint Francis. After ending a serious dispute between her son and son-in-law she died in 1336.
The true mark of one called to be a Franciscan is the charism of "maker of peace." The peace that Elizabeth affected was in her own immediate family among other places. Since Jesus became our reconciliation and our peace – and he was horrendously treated, being utterly innocent, with a child-like spirit – what actually happens is that when we enter into reconciliations that are truly called for and necessary – when forgiveness is asked for and received – even with those who have already died – then we participate in Jesus' reconciliation, and we experience the peace that radiates from it! It is an amazing peace – that pervades our whole being!
In the gospel passage Jesus puts it another way: when the Son of Man comes: blessed will the peacemakers be, but this time he is referring as well to the peace that we bring to one another when we actively reach out and help one another, and care for one another: when we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirst, clothes to those who need them, and a welcome to the stranger – then we will be welcome into the Kingdom of Peace and Love! Our lives each day ought to have some outreach for the sake of Jesus – for the benefit of the ones receiving the help and for the good of our own hearts and souls! "I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you!"
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne