Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection – December 3, 2021
1st Friday of Advent, Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, December 3, 2021
Is 29:17-24, Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14, Mt 9:27-31
As the days shorten, we all crave light. Whether it be from a lamp or the sun, it is something that is in short supply these days. The light, especially the natural sunlight, tends to give us a lift, or a boost to our psyche, our spirits, and our moods. Why does it do this? Because it gives our bodies the natural elements it needs to survive, primarily vitamin D. If light produces this much energy for our physical bodies, what kind of light would be good for our soul? The reading from the prophet Isaiah gives us a foreshadowing of what that light will do for us. There will be new forests, the deaf will hear, the blind see, and all will find the joy of the Lord! Even the psalm cries out that the Lord is my light and salvation. Oh, how we long for light for our bodies, and light for our souls.
But we cannot do it without faith. Without faith in our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus is willing to heal anyone, but He requires one thing from us, faith in Him. As the two blind men ask Jesus to heal them, He asks them if they believe He can do it. All Jesus wanted was their faith in Him. As we heard, they said yes, they believe and Jesus does heal them, providing them the light in the darkness they so desperately wanted. While they wanted light for their eyes, Jesus provides them something so much more, light for their soul. As we approach the end of the first week of Advent, it is time we look deep into our hearts and ask the very same questions, do I believe? Do I believe Jesus is the Messiah that can provide the true light for my soul? I would hope we can all answer yes and receive that light. And just like the two blind men, we receive it and go out and spread the good news to all the lands.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Saint Francis Xavier, whose feast day is today. A stout follower of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, he preached in the Far East, most notably in India and Japan. While he had his aspirations on challenging those closer to home, once he got to India, his eyes were opened to the great need of basic Christian instruction. He also found they needed the light of Christ more than he ever imagined. The people there were so hungry for the Gospel that Saint Francis Xavier had little time for anything else. But he didn’t care, he just wanted to spread the light of Christ to all he met. A good example to us of what it means to walk in the light of Christ. It was through his work with children there that he began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Saint Francs Xavier died in 1552 near the China coast at the age of 46.