Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
“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
There are few saints who can compare with St. Francis Xavier in the desire for the Lord’s coming into the lives of others. Originally from northern Spain, he met St. Ignatius of Loyola while a student in Paris. He was eventually won over to follow the Spiritual Exercises, the month retreat that St. Ignatius developed to help people deepen their relationship with Christ and realize His call in their lives. After undergoing this retreat with Ignatius, Xavier desired to share the love of Christ with others. With the other early Jesuits he went through southern France and Germany into northern Italy, preaching in the streets, begging for his daily bread, visiting the sick and taking care of them in hospitals. As he lived this life of service, he was at times heard by some of his companions speaking about his desire to go further, even to go to such places far from his homeland such as India in order to preach the Gospel and minster to the people God loves.
God heard this desire and eventually Ignatius sent him to India. He travelled from their to Indonesia and became the first Christian missionary to Japan. He desired to go even further and preach the Gospel in China, but was abandoned by those who promised to smuggle him into that country and died on a small island within sight of China. St. Francis Xavier sought the coming of the Lord, not just into his own life, but into the lives of thousands upon thousands of others. Today, let us ask God to give a great desire for His coming not just into our own lives, but that we may be an instrument of His coming into the lives of those we meet.
December 3rd, 2016