Today is the feast of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of missionaries who cofounded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) with St. Ignatius of Loyola. He preached and ministered to the sick in hospitals and rang a bell on the streets as an invitation to the poor to come and study catechism. St. Francis Xavier established many churches, including 40 along the coast of India. His ministry would take him all over Asia. Not since St. Paul had a person brought that many people to Jesus Christ.
We are also called to be missionaries. We may not be called to travel to Asia or some other far-off land, but there are always those in our midst who need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Being a good steward means using our gifts and talents to lead others to Christ. Perhaps our gifts are more typical, like singing or speaking. We may need more reflection and the help of others to uncover more subtle gifts, like empathy, leadership, and relationship building. But we all are created with unique gifts that can be used to lead others to Jesus Christ. Remember, sometimes it is how we act and what we do that speaks more profoundly than what we say.
Daily advent challenge:
Who do you know who needs to feel the love of God through your actions? Make a plan to show him or her the power of God’s love by the end of this week, even in a small way.