Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we remember in our memory the great saint and missionary, St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of missions and the saint whose many works had allowed for the propagation of the faith and the spreading of the Church throughout many parts of the world, including and especially that of Asia and its many regions.
St. Francis Xavier is a role model for us all, and many still walked and followed in his footsteps even after all these years. After all, without his contributions, there would not be the Church in the many parts of Asia, such as India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indochina, Indonesian Archipelago, China and further beyond even up to Japan. This great saint is one of the many saints whose efforts spearheaded the evangelising mission of the Church to the many peoples who have not yet heard about the Lord.
And in his journeys he encountered many difficulties, challenges, and even rejections by the people to whom he was going to minister and preach. There were those who refused to listen to the word that he preached, the Good News that he had carried with him, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. But all these did not make St. Francis Xavier and his fellow missionaries to give up, and instead he tried all the harder.
What we heard in the Scripture readings today are the exhortations and reminders for us that as a follower and disciple of our Lord, we all have certain obligations and missions that have been entrusted to us. And one of our chief tasks is for us to be witnesses of God’s truth and the Good News of His salvation, and preach these to the people, in particular those who have not yet heard of them, or to those who have fallen and failed along the way.
And we cannot think that the works of St. Francis Xavier and all those missionaries who have toiled and laboured hard for God and for His people are done and completed. The work is always there, and there is always likely something for us to do, for the sake of those who are still lost and who are still unable to find their way to reach out to the Lord.
We are the new missionaries of our own time, just as it becomes the obligation of all the faithful to testify for their faith and become witnesses for our Lord, and be the bearers of His salvation to many more people. In this we have to heed the mission which God had entrusted to His Apostles and to the other disciples just before He was about to leave and ascend into Heaven.
His command was so that all the nations will receive the baptism of the Lord and that they will listen to the Good News and believe in all that the disciples of the Lord, as the witnesses God has appointed to be those who will be able to testify the truths that Jesus Himself had revealed to the whole world. And through us, many good works will be done for the greater glory of God and for our own salvation.
As those who have been called and chosen from the world to be the followers of Christ, we cannot profess to be ignorant of the plight of those who have not yet attained salvation in the Lord because they have not yet heard or witnessed the Good News of our God. Instead, it is our duty and obligation to show them the way to the Lord. We have to do our best, so that we may each other be able to find our way to the eternal life God had promised all of His faithful.
Therefore, as we prepare for the coming of the joyous and festive season of Christmas, let us all also take note that we should not forget about the less fortunate and those who are weak, sick and dying. Rather, let us all share whatever goods and blessings we have with one another, so that we can enjoy together and celebrate together the spirit of Christmas, that is thanksgiving for all the goodness and love God had shown us all.
Let us all imitate Him in all of our words, deeds and actions, so that in all the things we do, we will inspire many others, those who look at us, hear us and witness our acts, will see God’s works being done through us. In the footsteps of the missionaries like St. Francis Xavier, we as the new missionaries of the Lord should practice what we believe in, or else no one will believe in what we preach or teach to them.
Let us all lead by example and be inspiration to others around us, inspired by St. Francis Xavier and his works. Let us all devote ourselves, our time and our commitment to bring God’s Good News to more and more people, so that more and more souls can be saved from death and damnation, and be brought together as one people into the glory of Heaven. God bless us all. Amen.