Today Christians everywhere celebrate Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, who died on this date in 1968. We know him as Padre Pio. There is much to say about this humble servant of God, which you can find on http://www.franciscanmedia.org or in any number of books, documentaries and internet sites or perhaps from people, still alive, who have had experience of his life. It was not easy; he suffered spiritually and physically, and, perhaps most of all, psychologically from the words and actions of those who did not believe the movements of God in his life.
The verse before the gospel in today’s lectionary could be called “difficult grace” in the life of Padre Pio. It calls us all to humility and truth in recognition of our gifts, and reads as follows: Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Clearly, Padre Pio did not take credit for his extraordinary gift of healing or complain about the trials of his suffering, especially when he received the stigmata (the wounds of Christ in his physical form). It was his willingness to serve God in whatever way was asked of him that we honor today.
May we be willing each day to do the same.