“No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for Him”
– Isaiah 64:3
On the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, I reflect on three things Jesus taught me through St. Francis Xavier.
As a young man in college, St. Francis Xavier experienced an incredible conversion with the help of the Holy Spirit and his friend, St. Ignatius Loyola (the founder of the Jesuit order). Through the gift of St. Francis Xavier’s intercession, we can receive the grace of an equally powerful conversion in our own lives. As believers, including religious, we sometimes forget our need to be converted. We become comfortable, thinking, “I pray daily,” or “I go to confession regularly,” and so our relationship with God becomes stagnant. We forget to grow.
St. Francis Xavier had the gift of being open to mission and baptizing over 100,000 people. He was asked at the very last minute to go to China, India, or Japan. Despite the change of plans, St. Francis was open to the will of God and abandoned his life to the Jesuit mission. Through his intercession, the Holy Spirit can move us to have the same missionary abandonment. Sometimes, we think of evangelization as being a vocation for only a few people. Mission is for all believers.
It’s been said that St. Francis Xavier performed countless miracles of healing while he was on his mission. This healing became a clear witness to the power of God, which helped in his mission of conversion and spreading the Gospel message. Sometimes, healing is only thought to happen in the book of Acts. Sometimes, healing doesn’t always look like what we want it to. Maybe we have a physical wound or chronic illness but what God really wants to heal is something in our hearts, like a grudge or a wound from an old situation.
Father, we pray for the courage to be missionaries, reaching out and leading others to Jesus. Like St. Francis, may we help those in need, live lives rooted in prayer, and may we bring Christ to all we meet. This we ask through Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Brother Stephen Obara, C.F.X.
To view the full Advent 2023 booklet in English, click here.
For Spanish, click here.
For French, click here.