Today is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier (named after St. Francis of Assisi), an Advent saint who was imbued with apostolic zeal in spreading the kingdom of God! He announced to the people of India, Japan and China, the coming of the Great King who already came to be their shepherd and to set them free! St. Francis proclaimed the fulfillment of Isaiah says in today’s first reading:
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.
In St. Francis Xavier dwelt the One who said “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd” in today’s Gospel reading. Such was his love for the people that he desired Jesus to born in and to reign in.
St. Francis Xavier is the co-patron of missionaries along with St. Therese who never left her convent! To be a missionary is to be a servant of of the King who does what they ought to do, when they should be doing it, in the way it should be done—with great love. Most of us are called to the mission of spreading the kingdom of God in just that way right where we are. That’s basically the spirituality behind the Apostleship of Prayer—check out this video: