December 3, 2015 THURSDAY, 1st Week of Advent
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER, Principal Patron of Missions
Zep 3:9-10, 14 – 20 / Mt 28:16 - 20
[St. Francis Xavier (1506 – 1552), a Spaniard, among the first companions of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the University of Paris and one of the founding fathers of the Society of Jesus, tirelessly labored as a missionary in India and Japan for ten years before his death on a small island longing to enter China.]
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: Mt 28:16-20
As for the Eleven disciples, they went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed before him, although some doubted.
Then Jesus approached them and said, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to fulfill all that I have commanded you. I am with you always until the end of this world."
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Francis Xavier who selflessly and tirelessly preached the Good News in the East Indies and Japan. We are also called to partake in spreading the Good News. The Gospel reading narrates Jesus sending off the apostles to preach the Good News and to baptize believers. For the apostles, this was not easy because they knew very well that they were weak and sinful. But what inspired them to enter into this mission? They all have a common experience of living with Christ for some time and they witnessed and experienced the resurrection of Jesus. This inspired them to proclaim the risen Christ to all men everywhere. St. Francis Xavier had the same inspiration.
In the first reading, through the prophet Zephaniah, Yahweh gives hope for a better future for Israel, in the midst of persecution, defeat and exile: "Do not be afraid nor let your hands tremble, for Yahweh your God is within you, Yahweh, saving warrior. . . I will drive away the evil I warned youi about, and you will no longer be shamed. . . I will be good to you and gather you to make you famous and honorable among all the peoples of the earth." (Zep 3: 16b – 17a, 18, 20a). Unfailing hope is the key message of Advent and the Good News.
We have received the Good News with great joy, giving us hope in God's faithfulness. Like St. Francis Xavier, may we be inflamed to bring and share the Good News to all the earth, beginning with the little world we live and work in.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
ARMANDO A DEGUZMAN
CATHY L. DIOKNO
LEONIDA G. CASIANO
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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