“This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah” (Luke 11:29).
Jonah was the stereotypical doomsday prophet proclaiming, “The end is near. Repent!” Francis stood out from the crowd, too. Assuredly there were many who ignored or ridiculed him. But he was extraordinarily effective in getting people to follow him, a charismatic attraction that continues to our own day. The sincerity with which he lived his faith must have had a great deal to do with that. His biographer writes: “The truth of his teaching was brought home to people by the simplicity of his way of life, and two years after his own conversion several men were drawn to follow his example of penitence, and they left everything in order to join him.” Not all of us are called to give dramatic, public witness to God’s word. We are all called, however, to live the Gospel in our lives. And in doing so, we can show others the truth and beauty of the Good News.
—from the book Lent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek