|This is the Memorial of Saint
Psalms 122:1-2. 3-4. (4-5. 6-7) 8-9
Today is the feast of St. Francis Xavier. Francis is the patron of missionary activity. The readings for the day are most appropriate.
Isaiah points out in the first reading that the Messiah will bring salvation in Israel to those who remain steadfast. The Gospel reading extends salvation to all. Xavier labored in the Far East to proclaim the Christian message to as many as possible. He realized, and common sense tells us, that many will never receive the Christian message. Thus there is a universal call to salvation through the various world religions. Vatican Council II inspired a spirit of ecumenism that respects all religions.
The events of September have prompted scrutiny of Islam as never before. What do we find? Love of God and neighbor is the clear message of the Prophet and the Koran. Osama bin Ladenís interpretation of Islam is no more authentic than the bombing of abortion clinics or the murder of abortionist physicians are representative of authentic Christianity. Going to the sources invariably destroys religious stereotypes.
There is clearly a call to universal salvation. The manner
of this call and oneís response to it are unique experiences for each and
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