By Faithful Finch
I have been taken with this fresco of St. Francis for the last two months. Monsignor Timothy Verdon spoke about how St. Francis spontaneously threw off his cloak to offer it to a nobleman he met who had fallen on hard times. He knew that the extent of his poverty would cause him great shame. He sympathized with the other man and was merciful, without consideration for himself. St. Francis’ gesture of disrobing was full of symbolism — emptying himself and detaching himself from his worldly goods, which would take place later.
Last week I was reminded again of “removing the cloak” when we read the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man. Bartimaeus was on the side of the road, crying out to Jesus. When Jesus called him to come, he threw off his cloak so he could run! Then Bartimaeus was healed.
If only I will remove my cloak of fears, hurts, rights, and selfishness that keep me from running to Jesus and being available to be healed!