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Friday, December 3, 1999

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St. Francis Xavier

Isaiah 29:17-24
Psalm 27
Matthew 9:27-31

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our christmas present: healing from blindness

"At that He touched their eyes and said, 'Because of your faith it shall be done to you'; and they recovered their sight." —Matthew 9:29-30

For over twenty years, Pope John Paul II has prophesied the Great Jubilee of international justice and freedom. For six years, we have been called to prepare for the Great Jubilee. Nevertheless, many people, even Catholics, don't see how the Great Jubilee will actually be the turning point when the culture of death is displaced by a civilization of love and life. As we begin the Great Jubilee, we need the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy: "Out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see" (Is 29:18). With the two blind men in today's Gospel reading, we must cry out to Jesus: "Son of David, have mercy on us!" (Mt 9:27, our transl) We have blinded ourselves (Is 29:9) by our sinful compromise with "the god of the present age so that" we "do not see the splendor of the gospel" (2 Cor 4:4).

On this first Friday of the month, we need to turn again to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and ask Him to enlighten the eyes of our hearts (Eph 1:18) that we may know the great hope of our calling, "the wealth of His glorious heritage," and "the immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe" (Eph 1:18-19). If we repent and give ourselves totally to the Lord, He will open the eyes of our hearts and say to us: "I assure you, many a prophet and many a saint longed to see what you see but did not see it" (Mt 13:17). "But blest are your eyes because they see" (Mt 13:16).

Prayer:  Father, give me the missionary zeal of St. Francis Xavier.

Promise:  "The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel." —Is 29:19

Praise:  Although St. Francis Xavier was shot by robbers, had his bed set afire, and was threatened by wild boars and tigers, his greatest sufferings came from loneliness and isolation. Yet he persevered in his mission and brought the good news of Jesus to hundreds of thousands of people in the Far East.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999