St Francis Xavier

Isaiah 29:17-24; Psalm 26:1,4,13-14 (LXX); Matthew 9:27-31


The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
yea, wait for the Lord.

. . .

This seems to be exactly what I cannot do this Advent: ‘be strong, and let your heart take courage…wait for the Lord’. I hate waiting–if something needs doing, I want to do it; if it needs fixing, I want to fix it. And if it involves suffering, whether my own or that of someone I love, I want to do something about it.

Advent is a challenging season. It means waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in hope, waiting with the faith of the two blind men who believe Jesus is able and willing to heal them. And he does. I suppose I tend to be impatient and skeptical this time of year, and this year particularly so: the chances and changes of the year have worn me down, and I wonder whether anything can restore my hope and expectation. Reflecting on the amazing life and ministry of St Francis Xavier stirs my soul; the saints never fail to inspire me.

Unlike St Francis, though, I am not strong, or courageous; I am blind, and need healing as much as the two men who met Jesus on his way. I know that he is coming, I know that he can restore my vision and my hope. But will he? I believe, Lord; help my unbelief!


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