Readings
for the Memorial of

St. Francis Xavier
December 3


Go to the Liturgy of the Hours
MASS


ENTRANCE ANTIPHON          Ps 18 (17): 50; 22 (21): 23
Confitebor tibi in populis, Domine, et narrabo nomen tuum fratribus mei.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will tell of your name to my kin.


COLLECT
Deus, qui beati Francisci praedicatione multos tibi populos acquisisti, da, ut fidelium animi eodem fidei zelo ferveant, et uberrima ubique prole Ecclesia sancta laetetur.
O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier
won many peoples to yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23
Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach,
I offer the Gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel.
Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the Gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.



RESPONSORIAL PSALM          Ps 117:1bc, 2
Euntes in mundum universum, praedicate Evangelium.

R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness for us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.


ALLELUIA          Mt. 28:19a, 20b
Euntes docete omnes gentes, dicit Dominus: ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem saeculi.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord
I am with you always, until the end of the world.


GOSPEL          Mark 16:15-20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
So the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.


PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS
Suscipe, Domine, munera, quae tibi in beati Francisci commemoratione deferimus, et praesta, ut, sicut ille desiderio salutis hominum ad terras longinquas est progressus, ita et nos, testimonium Evangelio efficaciter perhibentes, ad te cum fratribus properare festinemus.
Receive, O Lord, these offerings we bring you
in commemoration of Saint Francis Xavier,
and grant that, as he journeyed to distant lands
out of longing for the salvation of souls,
so we, too, bearing effective witness to the Gospel,
may, with our brothers and sisters,
eagerly hasten towards you.
Through Christ our Lord.


COMMUNION ANTIPHON          Mt 10: 27
Quod dico vobis in tenebris, dicite in lumine, dicit Dominus, et quod in aure auditis, praedicate super tecta.
What I say to you in the darkness speak in the light, says the Lord;
what you hear whispered proclaim on the housetops.


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Mysteria tua, Deus, eum in nobis accendant caritatis ardorem, quo beatus Franciscus pro animarum salute flagravit, ut, vocatione nostra dignius ambulantes, promissum bonis operariis praemium cum eo consequamur.
May your mysteries, O God,
kindle in us that fire of charity
with which Saint Francis Xavier burned for the salvation of souls,
so that, walking ever more worthily in our vocation,
we may obtain with him the reward you promise
to those who labor well in your harvest.
Through Christ our Lord.


The Liturgy of the Hours
Francis Xavier


From the Common of Pastors; except the following

Office of Readings


SECOND READING

From the letters to Saint Ignatius by Saint Francis Xavier, priest
(E Vita Francisci Xaverii, auctore H. Tursellini, Romae, 1956, Lib. 4, epist. 4 [1542] et 5 [1544])

Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel

We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. No Portuguese live here the country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.

I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptised. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: “What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”

I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.

This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like – even to India.


RESPONSORY        Luke 10:2; Acts 1:8
So great a harvest, and so few to gather it in;
 - pray to the Lord of the harvest,
beg him to send out laborers or his harvest.

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.
 - Pray to the Lord of the harvest,
beg him to send out laborers or his harvest.


COLLECT
O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier
won many peoples to yourself,
grant that the hearts of the faithful
may burn with the same zeal for the faith
and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice
in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



 
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