MEMORIAL: Saint Francis Xavier, Priest

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few...” (Matthew 9:37.)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verses from today’s Gospel:

“An abundant harvest signified the multitude of people. The few laborers signified the dearth of teachers. He commands them to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. These are the laborers of whom the psalmist speaks: “May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy! He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” And that I may speak in broader terms: an abundant harvest represents all the believing multitude. The few laborers imply the apostles and their imitators who are sent to the harvest.” (Commentary on Matthew, 1.)

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.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen