Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Wednesday, First Week of Advent
December 3, 2014
Wednesday, First Week of Advent
[Memorial, St. Francis Xavier]
Zep 3:9-10, 14-20 or Rom 10:8-12 / Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 / Mt 28:16-20
Reading: Zep 3:9-10, 14-20
At that time I will give truthful lips to the pagan nations that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve him with the same zeal. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they will bring offerings to me. Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion; rejoice, O people of Israel! Sing joyfully with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! Yahweh has lifted your sentence and has driven your enemies away. Yahweh, the King of Israel is with you; do not fear any misfortune. On that day they will say to Jerusalem: Do not be afraid nor let your hands tremble, for Yahweh your God is within you, Yahweh, saving warrior. He will jump for joy on seeing you, for he has revived his love. For you he will cry out with joy, as you do in the days of the Feast. I will drive away the evil I warned you about, and you will no longer be shamed. On that day I will face your oppressors; I will save the lame sheep and bring the lost back into the fold. I will give them renown and honor in all the lands where humiliation was your lot. On that day I will be good to you and gather you to make you famous and honorable among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back the captives before your eyes, - this is Yahweh's word.
Gospel: Matthew 18: 16-20
If you are not listened to, take with you one or two others so that the case may be decided by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he still refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembled Church. But if he does not listen to the Church, then regard such a one as a pagan or a publican. I say to you: whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; and whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound. In like manner, I say to you: if on earth two of you are united in asking for anything, it will be granted to you by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them."
The first reading is full of hope. The prophet Zephaniah is foretelling a time when the people of Israel will come back to their own land from their exile in Babylon. It will be a time of rejoicing because God will restore the fortunes of Israel. We Christians also experienced similar moments when we were in dire straits with no hope of salvation and then God comes and lifts us up from the grave. Obviously, we were very thankful for those moments. We would also want very much to be always in our native land - which can mean to be in God's graces. For this, we must always be cognizant of who our savior and leader is - Jesus, Son of God, savior of the world.
Today is also the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionary of India and Japan in the 16th century. Instead of staying in his native land, Spain, Francis went to foreign lands to bring God's love to all nations. He heeded the command of Jesus in the gospel to make disciples of all men and to baptize them in the name of the Trinity. Why would he do this since he was a rich nobleman who had all the comforts of life? Because he believed that Jesus was always with him in his missionary endeavors and his heart was full of holy zeal to bring pagans into the sheepfold of God. St. Francis was a man of faith and love, for this we honor him today. May God inspire more missionaries like him who will preach the Lord Jesus in Asian countries, especially China, where so many people do not yet know the true God.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
Have a good day!
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