Theme: Tis’ The Season
Mediterranean Sea, Tel Aviv
By: Rev. Bill Frere
Homily for Friday December 3 2021
Friday – St. Francis Xavier
Gospel – Matthew 9:27-31
Besides all the decorating and baking cookies and sending out Christmas cards, this is also the time for Christmas movies. And I am sure we all have favorites! But here’s a slightly random thought – have you ever noticed how the main character in many of them is BLIND!! Not literally, of course. But think about it! In Christmas Carol, Scrooge is so blinded by greed that he can’t see the suffering or the joy of those around him. The dad in Elf is so focused on his business and money that he can’t appreciate the simple joys of the season. Kevin in Home Alone is so focused on himself that he can’t see the value of family and truly celebrating Christmas. And George in It’s A Wonderful Life is so weighed down and crushed by his seeming failure that he wishes he was never born.
We commemorate today St. Francis Xavier. He was born in Spain to a wealthy and powerful family; he lived in a castle and was educated at the prestigious University of Paris. He was looking forward to a promising career until he crossed paths with St. Ignatius of Loyola. His initial relationship with Ignatius was one of sarcasm and teasing as Ignatius tried to convert students to the Faith. But he was eventually won over and became a priest and missionary (particularly to India and Japan). He was canonized on the same day as Ignatius. I suppose we could say Francis was a bit blinded by the allure and attractions of power and wealth but eventually his eyes were opened!
Blindness! It’s the focus of today’s Gospel. And it’s only faith that eventually helps the two men to be cured! It’s faith that brings about the miracle! So don’t let the cares and worries of life get you so down that you become blind to the simple joys of the season. String popcorn and decorate that tree! Retell the story of that special ornament! Pray daily before your manger scene. Read that story of the visit of St. Nick to the little ones, maybe even to yourself! Open your eyes and see the beauty and wonder of the season. And believe that the Savior is Coming!
Rev. Bill Frere