St Francis Xavier, priest
Patron of Missions and Missionaries
1st Sunday of Advent (C) : Friday 3rd December 2021
1 Cor. 9:16-19,22-23; Ps. 116:1-2;
Mt. 16:15-20 (Ps Wk I)
Today is the feast of St. Francis Xavier. He is no stranger to our land. He walked on our shores in Malacca. He brought the Good News to our predecessors in the faith. He laid the foundation for the nascent beginnings of the local Church in this region. We are the children of St. Francis Xavier’s missionary zeal.
His missionary zeal recalls us to the mission Jesus gave to his Apostles as we read in the Gospel for today. It must have sounded totally impossible, beyond their capabilities and nagging inadequacies: ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to all creation.’ They are now entrusted with the mission of Jesus himself. Perhaps even more astounding is the fact that they did carry out this mission, and we, together with so many others, are the beneficiaries of their faith and trust in Jesus.
Without doubt, St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle to the East, is faithful in following the lead taken by his Lord and Master, and perhaps with great admiration for St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles. St. Francis Xavier perhaps could agree with St. Paul in declaring that “So though I am not a slave of any man, I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could (for the Lord)” (cf. I Cor. 9:16-19, 22-23).
O God, may Your mysteries kindle in us that fire of charity with which St. Francis Xavier burned for the salvation of many.