Tuesday, December 03, 2013
1st Week of Advent
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
1st Reading: Is 11:1-10
Gospel: Luke 10:21-24
Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, “Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see but did not, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
With joy derived from the Holy Spirit Jesus praised his Father by way of a sincere spontaneous prayer. If we want our prayer of praise to be as sincere and spontaneous, we must desire the joy of the Spirit. This brand of joy is not the happiness most of us know. Happiness depends on happenings while joy comes deep down from the heart of a person open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
By “happenings” we refer to that series of mundane events offering nothing but fleeting satisfaction that lasts no longer than the happenings themselves. This satisfaction cannot be the source of inner strength because aside from the fact that it is fleeting, its fading away leaves a vacuum in the heart – a vacuum that sucks into the heart just any mundane happening purporting to sustain or prolong the happiness. This results to a kind of fishing expedition that sets the heart on an unbridled experimentation with the world. Happiness, therefore, rarely lifts a person to the level of the divine. Only joy derived from the Spirit does.
To achieve joy, today’s Gospel suggests that we maintain the attitude of a child. As distinguished from childishness which turns us into spiritually spoiled brats, childlikeness endows us with the simplicity that makes us appreciative of God’s smallest blessings. When one is appreciative of even the smallest blessings, he is like a child easier to please than an unimpressed adult with complicated standards and expectations. It is when we are childlike that our eyes see the secrets of the kingdom. This explains why Jesus exclaimed: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones.”
Seeing the secrets of the kingdom with the simplicity of the child moves us to thank God everyday, for we will never run out of reasons to give him thanks. Such prayer of praise and thanksgiving will be as sincere and spontaneous as Jesus’ prayer. - Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website:www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the gift of wisdom so that we may make God-fearing decisions. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. FRANCIS XAVIER, Patron of foreign missions. He was born in Pamplona, Spain in 1506. While studying at Paris, he became one of the first seven followers of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In 1541, four years after his ordination, Francis was sent as a missionary to India. In 1549 he set out for Japan, becoming the first missionary in that secluded country. Seeing that evangelical poverty had not appeal in Japan he dressed decently and presented himself before the local authorities as the representative of Portugal. Having presented some gifts to them he was allowed to evangelize the people. But his early success alarmed the local chiefs who got suspicious and forbade further apostolic work. Thereafter he went to China but fell sick on the way and died in 1552.