Theme: Amazing grace
By: Fr. Francis Onwunali
Homily for Friday December 3 2021
REFLECTION FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER/ FRIDAY OF 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT
We celebrate today the Memorial of St. Francis Xavier. St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was born in the castle of Xavier in Navarre, Spain. In 1525 he went to Paris where he met St. Ignatius Loyola and both were pioneer members of the Society of Jesus- Jesuit, and were ordained to the Priesthood in Venice in 1537. He is one of the Church’s most illustrious missionaries. He was sent to evangelize India in 1540 and also preached in Goa, South East Asia and Japan. In 1552 he started on a voyage to China but died on the way.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Today’s gospel (Matt. 9: 27-31) passage of the healing of two blind men must have had a lot of impact on John Newton when in 1772 he wrote the words of this sentimental hymn “Amazing Grace”, recalling God’s intervention saving him from shipwreck as a slave trader which led to his conversion. In faith these two blind men asked for God’s mercy. Faith is the key to divine transformation that liberates us to live in the freedom of God’s sons and daughters and citizens of God’s Kingdom.
Jesus is the fulfilment of these promises of transformation which Isaiah prophesied in the first reading (Is. 29: 17-24). “On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel”.
Dear friends, faith opens the way for us to see the power of God’s Kingdom and to experience His healing presence in our lives. Are there blind spots in my life that needs healing? Bring them to Jesus! Call in faith for Jesus’ healing touch.
I pray as we journey in life today, we will be humble enough to seek the face of the light of the world, Jesus our Saviour. May we renounce and confess our sins so that our blindness will not ruin our Christmas since we cannot see Christ, the meaning of Christmas, if we remain blind in sin. Since the Lord is our light and help, the stronghold of our life, neither shall we fear nor shrink, for we shall certainly see God’s goodness (Ps.27: 1, 13). Have a transformation-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali