“Let us go too, and die with Him.” – John 11:16
- A Great Lover – He is best known as “doubting Thomas,” but the gospel records him as the twin, but twin to whom? Was he the natural twin to another, or possibly was he as much like Jesus in all his being as to be called His twin by the disciples? Possibly his love and his understanding of Jesus and His destiny may have been better understood by Thomas than the other disciples of Jesus. After Lazarus had died and Jesus said that He was going to Bethany near Jerusalem, the disciples warned Jesus that it wasn’t long since the Jews wanted to stone Him there. Thomas said that they should go and die with Jesus. Only a great lover would be willing to join his friend in death. To be a great lover means to endure silently and to be courageous in waiting for the beloved, which Thomas would do later.
- The Sign of a Lover – A common depiction of Saint Francis is his embracing the crucified Jesus on His cross. That Francis spiritually embraced the crucified Jesus is best known in his receipt of the wounds of Jesus at La Verna. Surely, it was only the love that Francis had for Jesus that gave him the strength and the courage to pray in his heart on La Verna as Saint Thomas did, “Let me go too, and die with him.” In the Franciscan coat of arms is the wounded arm of Jesus entwined with the stigmata arm of Francis over Christ’s cross as a sign of the embrace of love between Jesus and Francis.
- True Love – To love and to be loved is the best that we can strive for, hope for and achieve in this life. When we find evidence of such love, we mark it in history so that all can see, and remember, and know the truth of such love. Such is the story of Thomas and Francis and countless others. How shall they know us? How shall they know me? By our love.