Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Francis Xavier who selflessly and tirelessly preached the Good News in the East Indies and Japan. We are also called to participate in the preaching of the Good News. The Gospel reading today narrates Jesus, before he ascended to heaven, sending off his Apostles to preach the Good News and to baptize believers from all nations.
For the Apostles and the other followers of Christ this was not easy because they knew very well that they were weak and sinful; many also opposed them as they opposed Christ himself in his teaching. But what inspired them to enter into this universal mission given by the Lord? They all have had the common experience of living with Christ. They heard his teaching. They suffered his death and rejoiced in his resurrection from the dead. This inspired them to proclaim the risen Christ to all the world.
St. Francis Xavier had the same inspiration.
In the first reading from the prophet Zephaniah, God gives hope for a better future for Israel, in the midst of persecution, defeat and exile: “I will be good to you and gather you to make you famous and honorable among all the peoples of the earth.”
Such unfailing hope is the key message of Advent and the Good News.
We have received the Good News with great joy, giving us hope in God’s faithfulness. Like St. Francis Xavier, may we be inflamed to bring and share the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the earth, beginning with the little world we live and work in.