Jesus let me be Your feet, to go where You want me to go; your arms to do Your work; Your mouth to share Your words, Your mind to know as You know. In order for us to actually do the work of the Master, we spend a lifetime in friendship getting to know the Master. In today’s Gospel the disciples are commissioned to do the Lord’s work with the Lord having their back along the way. If we stay close to the Lord in faith, through prayer, through good works, through a sincere and constant desire to live by the Good News itself we can “let go and let God”! We can go out and do the work the Lord Himself wants us to do.
This is the witness that we need to offer our world today. If we look at the life of St. Francis Xavier, through his life, the zeal he had, the hard work and love of the Lord he had, he traveled and tirelessly proclaimed the Good News to all the world. He suffered and struggled in so many ways. As he wrote to St. Ignatius of Loyola, “many are not becoming Christians because there is no one here to make them Christians”. Seeing this, he had a clear sense of what the Lord was calling him to do. The Lord doesn’t reveal this to us so that we can simply remark on a thing and then do nothing with it. It became part of the life’s work for St. Francis to raise up other disciples in the places where the faith was beginning to take root. He is the patron of missionaries. He is also a role model for those of us who understand the Lord is using us to raise up more disciples. The men who come and see me and who sense the signs of their calling to priesthood or religious life, must know at some point that there work will not be to take everything on in the Church, but will be to make more disciples and missionaries.
I’m far from a saint, but as I spent a little time thinking of St. Francis Xavier today, it occurred to me that there must have come a point in time when he trusted God so completely that he felt a sense of freedom to do everything he could without feeling the crushing weight of having to take on all responsibility for the lack of missionary presence in the places of the world he ministered it. He was a great evangelizer himself, he was a great missionary. If he had felt that responsibility he might not have reached the potential or greatness that the Lord saw to it he had. Great things happened for St. Francis and they do for us when we realize that in our particular calling we are given a particular task. St. Francis had his and we have ours. In my work as Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Toronto, I am working with men who God willing as parish priests will help others find their calling and will do great things as missionaries of Christ in our archdiocese today and into the future.