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If You Wish to Be Perfect
Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
Source: Francis: The Journey and the Dream
Published: Sunday, July 14, 2013

The wealthy merchant Bernard of Quintavalle spent the night watching Francis at prayer, and in the morning had told Francis of his resolve to renounce his possessions and to follow Francis in the footsteps of Christ. Francis said that they must go together to the bishop’s house where there was a poor priest who would say Mass for them. Afterward they would ask the priest to open the Book of the Gospels three times to see what God would there reveal to them about their future....

Francis’ heart always beat faster when he recalled those three openings of the Gospels: “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions, and give to the poor...and come, follow me.” “Take nothing for your journey, neither staff nor knapsack, shoes nor money.” “Anyone who will come after me must renounce self, take up the cross and follow me.”

And Bernard went out and sold all his goods and gave the money to the poor. And Francis and Bernard journeyed side by side across the hills and plains of Umbria.

From Francis: The Journey and the Dream, by Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

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