Today is the day we commemorate Francis of Assisi. The commemoration of saints is emphasized differently in different Christian traditions but Francis tends to show up in a lot of traditions. He is remembered mainly for his relationship with the natural world but his commitment to absolute poverty has begun to reemerge since 2013 and the election of Pope Francis.
Absolute monetary poverty is a particular calling that is not for everyone. But not having money is only one kind of poverty. When I was at the Monastery we talked a lot about how each one of us is poor in our own way. This is where Christian love and service take on a bigger role in our day-to-day lives. Each one of us has needs and each one of us has gifts to offer. We are called together in community to share our gifts to support each other in our needs, and God asks us to be honest and let our sisters and brothers aid us in our need, our poverty.
We are also called to share those gifts with the world around us. We are each rich and poor in our own ways to help all those who intersect our lives. The other folks in our classes or places of work may need the word we have to say or the ability we have to listen or the skills we have picked up along the way. Equally important though is being open to letting them offer us the gifts they have to support us. That is how the Beloved Community is formed and strengthened: through mutual love and caring for one another in our poverty.