Sunday, December 01, 2019
TUESDAY, 1ST Week of Advent
St. Francis Xavier
Priest and Principal Patron of All 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 (1491 – 1556) at the University of Paris and one of the founding Fathers of the Society of Jesus, tirelessly labored as a missionary in India, Japan and the East Indies for ten years before his death in a small island off China, longing to enter China.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Zep 3: 9 – 10, 19 – 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. . . .
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 their 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.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Mt 28: 18 – 20
Then Jesus approached his disciples 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 of St. Francis Xavier who selflessly and tirelessly preached the Good News in the East Indies and Japan. We are also called to participate in the preaching of the Good News. The Gospel reading today narrates Jesus, before he ascended to heaven, sending off his Apostles to preach the Good News and to baptize believers from all nations.
For the Apostles and the other followers of Christ this was not easy because they knew very well that they were weak and sinful; many also opposed them as they opposed Christ himself in his teaching. But what inspired them to enter into this universal mission given by the Lord? They all have had the common experience of living with Christ. They heard his teaching. They suffered his death and rejoiced in his resurrection from the dead. This inspired them to proclaim the risen Christ to all the world.
St. Francis Xavier had the same inspiration.
In the first reading from the prophet Zephaniah, Yahweh gives hope for a better future for Israel, in the midst of persecution, defeat and exile: "I will be good to you and gather you to make you famous and honorable among all the peoples of the earth."
Such 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 of Jesus Christ to all the earth, beginning with the little world we live and work in.
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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