Walk in His love, share His love…
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (November 13, 2020): 2 JN 4-9; PS 119:1,2,10,11,17,18; LK 17:26-37
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
In the first reading for today, St. John reminds us of something St. Frances Xavier Cabrini certainly knew: the importance of love.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, born Maria Francesca in Italy in 1850, wanted from her childhood to become a religious Sister and a missionary. When lifelong health problems prevented her from joining the order that had taught her, she spent several years running a home for orphaned children. With the help of her Bishop, she and a few other women took vows as Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was at this time that she took the name Frances Xavier in honor of the great missionary saint who served in Asia. This was also her goal, but she turned her attention to westward at the suggestion of the pope who was concerned about the numerous people immigrating America. So she and the others went to New York and opened an orphanage, the first of almost 70 institutions she founded to provide healthcare, education, and other assistance for children and adults who were is great need as they learned to make their way in their new country. In 1909 Mother Cabrini became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. She traveled throughout the country serving the poor here as well as in South America and Europe. She said, “I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.”
In 1917, at age 67, she died from complications from malaria while ministering at a hospital in Chicago. The Church named her a saint in 1946 and, in 1950, Pope Pius XII declared her patron of immigrants. In the first reading for today, St. John reminds us of something St. Frances Xavier Cabrini certainly knew: the importance of love. “Let us love one another. For this is love, that we walk according to His commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk” (2 John 5-6). Like Mother Cabrini and God’s other saints, the love of God must rule our hearts and minds, our bodies and souls. So we, too, must walk in His love and share His love with all we meet today and everyday.
Suggested missionary action: We can ask St. Frances Xavier Cabrini to help us seek to assist those in need, even under trying circumstances. And we can say a special prayer for all our immigrant neighbors, as well as for all missionaries serving the vulnerable communities of our world today.