GREATER DOUBLE / WHITE
Francis Xavier (1506-52) was born in the Basque country of Spain. While still young he was a popular lecturer at the University of Paris. There he met Ignatius Loyola, and was professed as one of the seven pioneer Jesuits. In 1540 St. Ignatius sent his loved disciple to the Orient, saying, "Go and set all on fire." Francis Xavier first evangelized the Portuguese colony of Goa in India, then Travancore, Ceylon, Malacca, and the surrounding islands. From there he journeyed to japan, where he gave Christianity such deep roots that it survived centuries of violent persecution. He died on Sancian Island in 1552, while he was seeking to penetrate into the great forbidden land of China. The immortal fire of his love for Christ still draws missioners to high adventure for God and souls.
INTROIT Ps. 118:46-47
I spoke of Your testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed; I meditated on Your commandments, which I loved dearly.
Ps. 116:1-2. Praise the Lord, all you nations; praise Him in unison, all you peoples! For His mercy is steadfast toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, You brought the peoples of India into the fold of Your Church through the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis. Grant that we who venerate his glorious merits may also imitate his virtues. Through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of the FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Arise in Thy strength, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and come: from the dangers which threaten us because of our sins, be Thy presence our sure defense, be Thy deliverance our safety for evermore. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
EPISTLE Rom. 10:10-18
For, with the heart, we believe unto justice: but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith: "Whosoever believeth in him shall not be confounded." For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things?" But all do not obey the gospel. For Isaias saith: "Lord, who hath believed our report?" Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say: Have they not heard? Yes, verily: "Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the whole world."
GRADUAL Ps. 91:13, 14, 3
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar of Lebanon in the house of the Lord.
V. That he may show forth Your mercy in the morning and Your truth throughout the night.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Jac. 1:12
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Mark 16:15-18
At that time, Jesus said to them: "Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall he condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hand upon the sick: and they shall recover."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 88:25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him; and in My name shall his power be exalted.
Accept this offering which we humbly present in honor of Your saints, O Almighty God, and through it purify our bodies and our souls. Through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of the FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Let the sacred rites that we perform cleanse and purify us, O Lord, that they may bring us closer to God, who is their Author. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt. 24:46-47
Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, shall find watching. Amen I say to you, he will set him over all his goods.
Almighty God, we pray that the reception of this Bread of Heaven may strengthen us against all adversity through the intercession of Your blessed confessor Francis. Through our Lord . . .