*Alternate* First Reading: The words of St. Francis of Assisi

In Admonition 5, St. Francis of Assisi tells us:

“Consider, O human being, in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for God created you and formed you to the image of God’s beloved Son according to the body and to God’s likeness according to the Spirit.”

How great our dignity – each one of us made in the image and likeness of God!  There is only one way to “measure” such dignity, not with wealth or power, not with success or accomplishments, not even with the length of years we exist on this earth.  Rather, we are called to measure our life in love for we are created in the image and likeness of our God in love. Each of us has a love story to tell.  Today we are here to tell that love story, the story of the human person, you and me and each and every one of our brothers and sisters throughout the world.  Each one of our love stories begins with/in God and ends with/in God.  This story is ignited by God’s passionate desire to be known and loved; with an unquenchable thirst for relationship with each and every one of us.