Saturday, 1st Week of Advent
In the message of 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reflects on the missionary dimension of our Christian calling. Pope continues, “commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself. A relationship with the Lord entails being sent out into the world as prophets of his word and witnesses of his love.” The reading of today especially the Gospel of St. Mathew is clear example for this association of mission of Christ and His disciples Christians in future. Everyone is precious to Jesus. Jesus visited not only the great and wealthy cities, but the poor, obscure villages; and there he preached, there he healed. The souls of the poorest in the world are as precious to Christ. “Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, and works with him.”(Evangelii Gaudium, 266).
The multitudes eager of spiritual instruction formed a plenteous harvest, needing many active labourers; but few deserved that character. Christ is the Lord of the harvest. Let us pray that many may be raised up and sent forth, who will labour in bringing souls to Christ. It is a sign that God is about to bestow some special mercy upon a people, when he stirs them up to pray for it. And commissions given to labourers in answer to prayer are most likely to be successful.
The word apostle signifies messenger; they were Christ’s messengers, sent forth to proclaim his kingdom. Christ gave them power to heal all manner of sickness. In the grace of the gospel there is a slave for every sore, a remedy for every malady. There is no spiritual disease, but there is power in Christ for the cure of it.
In the last verse of today’s reading, the English hardly suggests more than giving liberally. The Greek is much stronger, “Give as a free gift—give gratis”. The messenger is called to proclaim the kingdom till the sense of the blessing it has brought shows itself in the thank-offerings of gratitude. Dear friends Jesus is our model in giving totally to us as a free gift his body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. He emptied himself and gave life to all those who come into contact with Him. Let us spend some time with the Eucharistic Lord, as we thank the great missionary of India, St. Francis Xavier, who is our model after the example of Christ, in his missionary ardor.
by Sr. Josmy Jose fma