READING OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Isaiah
IS 30:19-21, 23-26
Thus says the Lord GOD,
the Holy One of Israel:
O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem,
no more will you weep;
He will be gracious to you when you cry out,
as soon as he hears he will answer you.
The Lord will give you the bread you need
and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or to the left.
He will give rain for the seed
that you sow in the ground,
And the wheat that the soil produces
will be rich and abundant.
On that day your flock will be given pasture
and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows;
The oxen and the asses that till the ground
will eat silage tossed to them
with shovel and pitchfork.
Upon every high mountain and lofty hill
there will be streams of running water.
On the day of the great slaughter,
when the towers fall,
The light of the moon will be like that of the sun
and the light of the sun will be seven times greater
like the light of seven days.
On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people,
he will heal the bruises left by his blows.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 9:35–10:1, 5A, 6-8
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
God’s Word for Us
Dear people of God,
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Francis Xavier. In the Word of God today, we learn how Jesus gave His power to the Apostles before He ascended to heaven. He told them: When you go on a mission, live according to what God has commanded so that His power and strength will be shown to those who have been and are living according to the teachings of God. It is only through the strength and power of the supreme God that Satan can be subdued.
God wants to say to all mankind: He is a Father who loves everyone. God gave power and strength to the Apostles, and He gives it to all those who have absolute confidence in Him. It is the power over Satan and the power to heal every disease and sickness; however, it comes with the condition that those who follow Jesus live and do what God commanded. Then His strength and power will be shown in words and actions when driving out Satan and healing diseases.
Those who use God’s name to drive out Satan are instruments of God. Therefore, those who are chosen and empowered by God must be aware of their sinful condition, aware that they are imperfect servants chosen and empowered by God. Those who, in the name of God, cast out demons and heal diseases, should not be complacent or arrogant, because Satan will take advantage of human weakness to tempt, stalk and steal souls.
Therefore, the Word of God warns the apostles and all those who are following Jesus: Be alert in all places at all times, in your words and deeds when driving out Satan. Always put God above all things and obey and practice according to the Word of God, and Satan will be subdued. Satan fears the light of God’s word, of God’s power and strength manifested by the disciples who carry out His commandments.
The Word of God today warns everyone: Every thought, word, action, and deed should be for the glory of God. Put aside your own glory. Do not fall into the temptations and snares of Satan by seeking earthly honor and glory, and thus obscuring the name of God.
God warns His disciples: Always be aware of your sinful condition when you are chosen by God to be part of His work. When He gives power and strength to drive out Satan, to heal all diseases for your brothers and sisters, stay awake and listen to and practice the Word of God. Do exactly as He commands, then Satan will not harm those who are carrying out God’s commandments.
Thanks Be to God. Amen.