and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet of the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Matthew 8:11
In the First Reading and Gospel of today’s Mass, we hear, as if for the first time, the promise of the Lord’s Advent: “For over all, the Lord’s glory will be a shelter and protection.” The promised Messiah, the Long-Awaited One of Israel, comes to offer salvation for all God’s children. Isaiah saw the vision of a world cleansed from its fear and sin, a world where God’s glory would be manifest to all. In Jesus, this promise is fulfilled.
Opening our hearts to hear this promise in a new way this Advent, we remember the great missionary, Saint Francis Xavier. Inspired by no other motive than a desire to spread the Gospel, this holy, simple priest left the security of his Jesuit community to set out on a mission that took him to India, numerous islands in the South Pacific, Japan, and finally, to a small island off the coast of China where he died alone, watching and waiting for the Lord he had loved so much.
Enflamed with a desire to see the Good News of the Lord’s Coming proclaimed in a new land, Francis Xavier, recognized his responsibility to evangelize and share the light of faith. On this first Monday of Advent, pray that the Holy Spirit will renew the flame of faith within your heart, so that you, like this missionary-priest, may be generous enough to pass along the light of faith that has been entrusted to you.
Prayer for Monday of the First Week of Advent +
Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God,
as we await the advent of Christ your Son,
so that, when he comes and knocks,
he may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in his praise.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)