Saturday, December 3, 2022

Saturday of the First Week of Advent

The Month of December Dedicated to Advent and the Coming of Christ

First Saturday of the Month

Saint: Saint Francis Xavier, Priest, "Apostle of Asia" (1506-1552)

Readings of the Day

Rule of Saint Benedict: Ch 52 The Oratory of the Monastery

Mass: Is 30:19-21, 23-26; Resp Ps 147; Mt 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

The Lord sustains the lowly.


This is the way; walk in it.
(Is 30:21)

Welcome to the First Saturday of the Month of December. Go to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Heart of Mary, united to the heart of Jesus, pray for us. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Jesus is busy in today's Gospel going around to all the towns and villages, teaching, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, curing every disease and illness. Our Lord saw that the people were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus seeks help from His disciples: The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest (Mt 9:37-38). So Jesus summoned His disciples to go out and get busy. It was not only the Twelve who responded to the Lord's summons, as there have been countless others who have gone to work. One of them is our saint of the day, Francis Xavier, friend of Ignatius of Loyola and Peter Faber. Together, they and other zealous men founded the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, a religious order confirmed by Pope Paul III in 1540. Francis Xavier spent time in Portugal, Malaysia, then Japan, caring for the sick, teaching the faith to adults and children alike, visiting prisoners, and more. Francis Xavier, like his Master Jesus, saw sheep that needed a shepherd. In a letter to Saint Ignatius, Francis wrote:

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: "What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!"
I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.
This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves entirely to God's will and His choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like-even to India!
(From the letters to Saint Ignatious by Saint Francis Xavier, priest, in Office of Readings, December 3)

Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
(Mt 10:8)


Fun facts: Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Ignatius of Loyola were canonized on the same day in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Saint Peter Faber was canonized in 2013 by Pope Francis.

Today's photo: “Humility is the prize of the leaf world” (Mary Oliver).

© Gertrude Feick 2022

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