Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church

(Isaiah 10:5-7.13b-16; Matthew 11:25-27)

St. Bonaventure was both a scholar and an administrator.  He held the Franciscan chair at the University of Paris until he served as Minister General of the Franciscan Order.  On a superficial level this background seems to eliminate him from Jesus’ company.  After all, in today gospel Jesus thanks the Father for revealing his mystery “to the wise and the learned.”

But Jesus does not mean to exclude all wise and learned.  What he cannot tolerate are those who use knowledge to lord it over others.  He has the Pharisees especially in mind.  These men advise the poor to make sacrifices while they find excuses to avoid them.  Jesus knows that true wisdom recognizes the need for divine love.  It also discerns how this love has been extended to the faithful poor.

Our task is to imitate Jesus as Bonaventure did.  We first pray to God in thanksgiving.  God is the source of everything including the benefits of life and love.  Then we make known to God our needs.  We want to ask for simplicity that recognizes the goodness of each person but pays tribute mostly to God.