Memorial of St. Francis Xavier, priest
(Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 5:21.24-27)
St. Francis Xavier baptized tens of thousands in India. But he realized that it should only be the beginning. He wrote back to Europe decrying that there were not more vocations to convert all India.
Today we wonder if Francis’ vision was not naïve. India has an ancient culture with its own wisdom. Besides, whether baptized with water or not, the people there have access to the Holy Spirit to gain salvation. “Is it necessary that they convert to Christianity?” we may ask.
Today’s gospel indicates that it is. The gospel is like a rock that grounds its adherents in ways of love. It unites people so that they may help one another grow in virtue. Even with it some people fail to recognize God as their source and destiny. Without it they would be like rudderless boats floating on a sea of possibilities.