Today as we celebrate the memorial of St Francis Xavier, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (9: 35 – 10: 1, 6, 8) in which Jesus sends his disciples out to the lost sheep of Israel to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.Lord Jesus, you call me to yourself in love, that I ca show your love to everyone I meet.Forgive me for the times when I fail, make me ever open to becoming more truly your ambassador of love and healing. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr Paul continues to read from the ‘Heart of the Disciple’ booklet for our daily reflections, saying God’s love is revealed in scripture. An example of that is the particularly beautiful passage from the prophet Ezekiel: “Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Ezekiel 34: 11-12). This is God’s promise to each of us personally, that he will search us out, find us and rescue us should we ever be lost. All each of us need do is to call out to God. Then, in turn, we too are to go in search of the lost. We are to go out on mission, to be the hands and feet of Jesus serving others and revealing God’s love to everyone we meet. As we hear in today’s gospel reading, Jesus sent his disciples out on mission. This can be daunting for us, because we often don’t know where to start. Little do we realise that the admission that we are unsure is the ideal start point. We stand before God with empty hands and we quietly ask God to show us what he’d like us to do and how he would like us to do it. We will have to return to that prayer again and again. That’s alright, for that is the prayer that begins to transform us into truly being a son or daughter of God. Gradually we start to reveal his love for us almost without our being aware of it. This is our true mission – to reveal God’s love to the world. This takes time and is the path to humility, for we fail so often. We are consoled by the words of Saint Paul: “Not that I have already obtained this, or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Phil 3: 12-13) EG, 121). Fr Paul, for our reflection, it it is one thing to know that God loves me; it is another to acknowledge that my primary mission is to reveal that love to everyone I meet. There are times it can seem too hard to even try. What should I do then? And today we pray: