Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, P. (03rd December, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Is 2:1-5;
Ps 121: 1-2. 4-5. 6-9. (R. v.1);
Matt 8:5-11.

Saint Francis Xavier was “born in 1506, in Spain, he was an original member of the Society of Jesus with St Ignatius – he took vows of poverty and chastity, and committed himself to evangelise the pagans. He is one of the greatest of all Christian missionaries, preaching in Goa, South East Asia, Japan – where he landed in 1549. He learned Japanese, and formed a Church that endured long drawn-out persecution. He died while on his way from Goa to China, in 1552. Not only was his preaching effective in drawing people to Christ, but he was able to organise the communities so that they could survive when he left them.”[1]
Topic: What shocked Jesus.
In the gospel, a centurion came up to Jesus and said: “... Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress” (Matt 8:6). One would expect the centurion to rejoice when Jesus said that He would come to his house and cure his servant but he said: “... Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matt 8:8).
There are so much to be picked from this gospel but we shall focus on just two. First, the centurion knew the value of human being. Hence, he left everything in search of solution to his servant’s illness. The servant could no longer do his duties towards his master yet the centurion still value him so much. How much do you value others? Christians are called to value everybody, cf. Lk 10:25-37.
Again, in the centurion was great faith. Hence, Jesus said in amazement: “... Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matt 8:10). Do Christians still have such faith or like Naaman who went away angrily saying:
... I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and he would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean? (2Kgs 5:11-12).
God wants us to come to him today and all the days of our lives for his benevolence but we must do this with faith and humility like the centurion. Saint Francis Xavier we celebrate today is a good example to follow.
Bible Reading: 2Kgs 5:1-19; Lk 10:25-37.
Thought for today: Do you go to God with faith and in humility?
Let us pray: Lord, as we embark on this journey of faith in preparation for your Son’s coming, may we do so with faith and in humility – Amen.
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
Saint Francis Xavier – Pray for us.
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[1] The Weekday Missal: A New Edition (1995). London: HarperCollins Religious, p.1811.

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