December 3, 2011
Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, priest
John Doyle, LC
Listen to the podcast version here.
Jesus went around to all the towns and
villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the
Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight
of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for
them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without
a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest
is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the
master of the harvest to send out laborers for his
harvest.” Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them
authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to
cure every disease and every illness. Jesus sent out these
Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep
of the house of Israel. As you go, make this
proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the
sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without
cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you, the Lord of
heaven and earth. Lord Jesus, I trust in your goodness
and tender concern for my good and the good of
every single person on this earth. Lord Jesus, I love
you and wish to cooperate more fully with you. I
am such a poor weak instrument, but I know that
you can do anything through those who trust in you.
Help me Lord, to know the mysteries of your Sacred
Heart and to respond with love.
1. The Heart of Christ:
“His heart was moved with pity for them because they
were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus
is our creator and our redeemer. He knows that what
we seek is his friendship, whether we realize it or
not. He knows that only he can satisfy our innermost
desires. We need to be moved with compassion at the
thought of Jesus’ pain, wounded by so many souls who
refuse to turn to him, our only source of light,
life and happiness. Do I ever consider how Jesus’ heart
needs to be consoled because of the indifference and rejection
of so many souls whom he loves infinitely?
2. Pray to
the Lord of the Harvest: “The harvest is abundant but
the laborers are few.” There are so many souls in
need of healing and so few to help Our Lord
with building his Kingdom and saving souls. “Pray to the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to the
harvest.” Christ is calling us to help him in this
mission. We cannot be indifferent to the cries of our
brothers and sisters who do not know the truth and
who have not experienced God’s awesome love. We must be
convinced that Jesus is the only answer for their yearnings.
Do I pray often to the Lord of the harvest?
Do I realize that I am also called to be
a laborer in the Lord’s harvest?
3. Go to the Lost
Sheep of the House of Israel: Jesus sends us out
although we feel weak and helpless. Can we “heal the
sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and drive out demons?”
Isn’t there someone else, Lord? No. Christ calls us for
the same reason he called the first apostles, namely because
he chooses the weak to show that he is in
charge. “Apart from the vine you can do nothing” (cf.
John 15:5). But united to him, we will bear much
fruit. Trust in him especially when we feel our own
weakness and incapability. For, as the apostle St Paul, reminds
us, “There is nothing I cannot do in him who
strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), and “It is when I am
weak that I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Conversation with Christ:
Oh Lord Jesus, I want to respond to the longings
of your heart. You have loved us to the point
of dying on the cross for us, and we repay
you so poorly. You deserve our grateful, loyal love, but
so often we abandon you. I want to console your
Sacred Heart by helping to bring many souls back into
your friendship. I want to be part of the solution
and not part of the problem; however, I do not
feel worthy or up to the task of being your
apostle. Help me to cooperate with you. Help me to
soothe your longing to heal us and care for us.
Here I am Lord, to do your loving will.
will go before the Blessed Sacrament today, intensifying my union
and friendship with my Risen Lord, and ask him to
send more holy, priestly vocations for his Church.