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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Reflection 2020-12-03 Wednesday First Week of Advent – St Francis Xavier

Isaiah 26:1-6; Psalm 118; Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Incorrupt Arm of St Francis Xavier
Incorrupt Arm of St Francis Xavier
As we continue into Advent, we see Jesus giving his listeners a warning: Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many want to enter heaven, so this desire is projected into what they say. When someone dies, we hear people say “This person is in heaven”. While this has to be our desire, that all will be saved, Jesus tells us here, not every one will be saved, not even those who call him Lord, Lord. Jesus gives the criteria for salvation: only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. How can I expect to live with God when even here on earth, I rebel against his will? How can someone want to stay in heaven for eternity when they do what is contrary to the will of God on earth. If I cannot do God’s will even for a day in my life here, how can I expect to live with God for eternity where it is his will that is done?
While we have free will, we need to use that free will to decide to do God’s will and not ours. And when the time comes, not even our profession of faith will help us, because we will be judged by what we do, as Jesus said Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. They key to a life with God is not only to hear the words of Jesus, not even calling him Lord, but acting on the words of Jesus. It is obedience to his words that leads us to salvation. Our faith has to be incarnate. It has to be seen in our obedience to God’s word.
The First Reading tells us: Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. A nation is righteous when they keep faith. We are righteous when we keep faith, when our faith is seen in our obedience. This is how we keep peace: when we trust in God. It is difficult to trust God. It requires a decision of the will, clinging to him, believing in his promises even if we do not see them. The First Reading continues: Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. The Prophet tells us to trust in the Lord, not only today, not only tomorrow, but FOREVER! Because God is faithful and he will do as he promised.
Advent is a season of waiting for the Lord to enter our lives. This year’s Advent is more special because many are in difficult situations, financially, health-wise, emotionally and I understand how difficult this may be. Yet, we have hope, because God is faithful. When we trust him, when we hold on to his Word, we stand on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on us. But we will not fall, because we are founded on rock. The Word of God is the Rock on which our faith is built. We stand on it firmly because Jesus is the stone the builders rejected that has become the cornerstone. Whatever our situation, we trust God because he is our only hope.
St Francis Xavier had this trust in the Lord, that gave him the zeal to preach the Gospel to Asia. It is said that he baptized hundreds of thousands of people during his lifetime. His incorrupt arm is shown in the picture. He did not have success always, but his trust in the Lord, his belief and obedience to the commands of Jesus to preach the Gospel to the nations made him do great things for the glory of God.
Lord, when will you come into my life. I am tired of waiting for you. Yet I believe you are God and I will trust you because it is better to trust you than to trust in human beings. I believe Lord you have answered me and have become my salvation. Come Lord, as I lift up the gates of my life. Let him enter the King of glory. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, the mighty the valiant, he is the King of glory.

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