Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Kingdom of Love and Fraternity

Kingdom of Love and Fraternity

As the Church Year comes to a close with the Feast of Christ the King (Sunday) and this last week of Ordinary Time I often think about who is Christ as King. Christ as a King, not your ordinary image of him. Often artwork portraying him as king have him in royal robes and fancy crowns; this often misses the mark of the true image of kingship. Kingship, especially that of Christ is an image of humility, service, hospitality, sacrifice and inclusion. Christ Jesus born in a manger, welcomed all with the love of God, washed the feet of his disciples and his grand royal march was to the Calvary hill where he laid down his life for the kingdom. Not so much the image of royal robes flowing, the crown fit perfectly and the grand throne to sit upon.

This past week our community of Friars gathered for a morning of reflection. We reflected upon St. Francis and his encounter with the Sultan 800 years ago. One of the readings we reflected with was the document which Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb signed earlier this year as a joint document entitled “HUMAN FRATERNITY FOR WORLD PEACE AND LIVING TOGETHER.” This document calls us to see that our God is a God of encounter and God of love. It reminds us that as one human family we are united to one another and that the kingdom of God is for all people. This is the kingdom which Christ desires.

This was also made evident this past week as we hosted a dialogue evening between Christians and Muslims. Both presenters, an Imam from Calgary and a Friar from Rome, made the point that our human fraternity, our common bond as brothers and sisters is rooted in love because God has created and loves us. This is the kingdom which I see, as I consider Christ the King. Not one which has used his name to conquer lands or promote fear, not one which has suppressed relationships or barricade peace, not one which has presented a tainted version of Christ’s goodness and how he came as a messenger of the love of God.

As kingdom builders we must continue to build bonds with our brothers and sisters in our communities. We must build a kingdom where all are welcome, where love, hope and hospitality speak of the kingdom to come and a kingdom which is always just so very close.

Reflecting on the Human Fraternity document and the events of this past week this prayer arose in me.

You God of Life
You God of All
You God of Love
desire nothing more than
justice and mercy
compassion and goodness
understanding and peace
dignity and love
for all your children
where ever we are
how ever we are
who ever we are.

You God of Life
You God of All
You God of Love
you have created us
in your image
holy, good, worthy,
innocent, free, magnificent,
wonderful, unique, beloved
all your children
where ever we are
how ever we are
who ever we are.

You God of Life
You God of All
You God of Love
in our brokenness
you do not abandon us
rather you awaken us to
what we offer each other
in fraternal bonds
for all your children
where ever we are
how ever we are
who ever we are.

You God of Life
You God of All
You God of Love
call us to
defend innocent human life
befriend the poor
walk with refugees and outcasts
be family win community
all your children
where ever we are
how ever we are
who ever we are.

You God of Life
You God of All
You God of Love
we call upon you
we desire to reflect you
we strive to be life-giving
we are filled with hope
we thrive in your love
for we are all your children
where ever we are
how ever we are
who ever we are.

You God of Life
You God of All
You God of Love.



Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.   -1 John 4.7