The sermon of St. Francis
‘O birds, my sisters, you owe much to God your Creator and you must praise Him always and everywhere for he has given you freedom to fly wherever you like, and he has also given you double and triple raiment, and he has preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, so that your kind should not grow less on earth; and furthermore you must thank him for the element of air which he has assigned to you. What is more you neither sow nor reap, and God feeds you, and has given you the streams and fountains to drink from, the mountains and the hills to shelter you and the high trees whereon you can build your nests. And although you can neither spin or sew, God clothes you and your children. Therefore the Creator loves you dearly, as he has given you so many blessings, and so, my sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude and be always eager to praise God’
2. The sin of ingratitude
Let’s spend a moment then thinking about our pets
those we bought
those at home
those we have shared our lives with over the years
what it is that we are thankful, grateful for?
3. A tale
It is reported that the following edition of the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed light on the question, "Where do pets come from?"
And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me every day. Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me."
And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself."
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam; and it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail.
And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.”
And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a mirror reflection of my own
name, and you will call him DOG."
And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that Adam's guardian angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility. "
And the Lord said, "No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not worthy of adoration."
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the Supreme Being. And Adam learned humility. And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved. And Cat didn't give a damn one way or the other.
We have much to be grateful for in our pets
they remind us how much we are loved
and how to love – that it is not a one way street.
and they keep us humble
4. St. Francis
Today we also remember one great saints – Saint Francis
who knew all his sins – saw himself as greatest sinner
and that with that he was still deeply and profoundly loved
most of us struggle to accept that
must have had a lot cats and dogs in his life when growing up
more than that
knew that every single person was deeply and profoundly loved by God
most of us really struggle to get our heads around
lived it amongst the poorest
among lepers and despised
among hate foe – Muslims of Sultanate of Egypt
in midst crusades
today our pets invite us to know that despite all our faults
we and all who live in this land are deeply loved b God
we are invited to live in such way that they experience that love
no matter who they are
no matter how different
no matter what they believe
So let us not be quality of the sin of ingratitude
Let us give thanks for our pets
Live out our gratitude