Monday, First Week of Advent
Blessed St. Francis Xavier’s Day!
You can find his story here.
I will praise You, Lord, among the nations;
I will tell of Your Name to my kin
O God, Who through the preaching of St. Francis Xavier
won many peoples to Yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Readings specific to St. Francis Xavier:
I Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 (Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel)
Psalm 117:1bc, 2 “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News”
+Mark 16:15-20 (The Great Commission)
Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature
That’s not a suggestion
not an “optional extra”.
That’s a command—
Jesus’ final Word.
If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been laid upon me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
-I Corinthians 9:16
Woe to me if I do not preach it!
But how can I proclaim a faith I do not know?!
How can I advertise something I don’t “buy” myself?
The very first part of the world I need to evangelize is…
I cannot give what I do not have.
But once I’ve got it,
–even a little bit–
I can’t contain it!
it becomes like a fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in,
I cannot endure it
I share in Jesus’ greatest suffering:
trying to give away the treasure
and nobody wants.
(We get just a taste of that
when our Christmas presents are returned…)
That suffering is itself a proclamation of the Gospel,
a fountain of grace for the salvation of souls
(God doesn’t waste anything).
Words are not enough.
Proclaiming the Gospel
means throwing my very being
into God’s Passion
turning every opportunity into gold.
Every desire, every temptation, every hope, every frustration,
an occasion of grace
to be offered to God for souls
whether or not I ever see results,
even if everything
goes up in flames.
More is going on behind the scenes than meets the eye.
I believe in one God…
Maker of…all things visible and invisible…
-Nicene Creed (emphasis added)
Seeds planted long ago,
in time forgotten,
spring to life
in God’s design.
That’s why we cry
Come, Lord, Come!
At His Second Coming
(and not before!)
we will see
all the fruit
our sacrifice has borne.
If we have preached the Gospel willingly
we will have our reward
(see I Corinthians 9:17)