1st Sunday in lent: Feb 26th 2012.
One of our most remembered saints, Francis Xavier, patron of the mission used say that nothing could be worse than losing his trust in God. His final words were of a prayer he had learned as a child, ‘Lord in you I put my trust; do not let me be disappointed.’
In his journey to faith and commitment, he had found support for this prayer; and also in his work among the very poor of India, he would find this conviction deepened. , and his goal was to live from it. The temptation would be to give up, to trust in his friends, comfort and a life lived in the ease of his own place or even in the first place he got to. He was tempted like Jesus, like all of us.
All of us are tempted to selfishness - to use others for money, comfort, reputation. To trust in things other than love of God and others for self-esteem. To think that happiness comes through money, power and comfort. We can be tempted to bully others at home, school, work, in a desire, often unconscious, to control everything.
Jesus had time in the desert to find his goals in his life. We need the same, like St Francis Xavier to define the goals of our life. We need to hear the call to give quality time to marriage, use the things of creation well, avoid what’s detrimental to health and soul, treat everyone with the dignity that is their due in our business and sexual relationships; to respect the other in our friendships, to respect each other on the roads, the care for the environment and all that is part of the goal of being a Christian.
The gospel ends with the care of God with the angels; God wants our love, our hearts. They are named images who care for us, protect us and keep us safe on our road to God.
Donal Neary SJ.