A story is told of a blind boy who was flying a kite.
He enjoyed this pastime along with others of his own age.
A passer-by, knowing him and wanting to mildly tease the blind-fellow, said:
“Hey, boy! Do you know where is your kite?
You don’t know whether it is on the ground or up in the sky, do you?”
“Oh yes,” said the blind lad, “I do know! It is now quite a fair height up in the air.”
“How do you know that?” asked the passer-by, “you surely can’t see it.”
The boy replied, “I can’t see it, it is true, but I can feel the tug of the string!”
The ‘tug’ of the string help the boy to realise the presence of the kite and to sense its height in the air!
The awareness of the presence of the Divine power in our lives, is such…
>> One may not be able to always see the presence of the Divine, but the believer can surely experience its power and strength!
This experience of “the Divine tug of the string” keeps the life of the believer moving forward and helps to depend on the Divine Presence for strength in life.
The Gospel of the Day is an invitation by Jesus to grow deeper in this “awareness and dependence” on Jesus in our life as a missionary of the Kingdom of God.
After having summoned and authorized the disciples, Jesus sends them ahead of Him, to the places of mission.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the same passage beings with the statement, “Preach, as you go…” (Mt 10:7)
Some other translations would read as “As you go, make a proclamation…”
This is such wonderfully practical, and yet at the same time, a phrase that is often overlooked: “Preach, as you go….” / “As you go… make a proclamation”
Preaching or Proclamation in our times, is often picturized with a limited understanding.
Preaching or proclamation is often understood as that which takes place…
… only from the pulpit or during a service in Church
… only in the form of speaking and explaining the Word of God
But the words of the Lord are worth noting:
“Preach, as you go….” / “As you go… make a proclamation”
Preach, as you go about doing your daily duties and activities
>> As you go about your responsibilities and works, make a proclamation
Preach as you go around meeting different people by sharing His love and joy to all
>> As you go about engaging in numerous actions, make a proclamation by sharing His presence
The act of preaching and proclamation of the Kingdom of God is to be reflected in our every action and movement…
… Whatever we do, may it become an act of proclaiming God’s abundant blessings!
… Whatever work we take up, may it become a moment of preaching God’s amazing providence!
Such an act of Preaching and Proclamation makes it mandatory that one grows deeper in the “awareness and dependence” on Jesus in the life as a missionary of the Kingdom of God.
>>The act of proclamation needs the “awareness” that I am continuing the Great Mission work that has Jesus as the “Initiator”, the “Sustainer” and the “Finale”!
>> The act of preaching needs the “dependency” on the Lord to realise that the Lord alone can provide all the graces, strength and courage for the mission!
This is what was epitomized by St Francis Xavier, whose feast we celebrate today.
>> This Patron of the Missions was filled with a tremendous zeal for salvation of souls and contained in him a contagious enthusiasm of giving Christ to all.
One of his testimonial statement, while undertaking missionary activity in Japan, goes thus: “Sometimes I have lost my voice and strength altogether with repeating again and again the Credo and the other forms.”
May we give heed to the words of the Dynamic Missionary Saint…
>> “It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a one’s progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken”
>> “It is impossible to find a saint who did not take the two P’s seriously: prayer and penance”
… and seek to grow deeper in our missionary commitment!
Yes, one needs to feel the “tug and the pull of the Divine Lord”…when one goes through
… hardships and difficulties in being a missionary of the Kingdom, in hostile situations
… problems and challenges as we seek to live a true Christian life in the modern world
… meaninglessness or emptiness as we go through the ‘deserts’ and ‘darkness’ in life
And it is this experience of “the Divine tug of the string” that keeps the life of the believer moving forward and to depend on the Divine Presence for strength in life!
Happy Feast of St Francis Xavier!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “By turning your eyes on God in meditation…
… your whole soul will be filled with God.
>> Begin all your prayers in the presence of God!”