St Paul Miki and Companions (1564/6 – 1597)
Born in Japan, he joined the Society of Jesus. When a persecution of the Catholics arose he was arrested together with twenty-five others, bound to crosses and speared in Nagasaki in 1597.
The souls of the Saints are rejoicing in heaven, the Saints who followed the footsteps of Christ, and since for love of him they shed their blood, they now exult with Christ for ever.
O God, strength of all the Saints, who through the Cross were pleased to call the Martyrs Saint Paul Miki and companions to life, grant, we pray, that by their intercession we may hold with courage even until death to the faith that we profess. 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.
First reading: Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death. Have you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, when the Lord corrects you, do not treat it lightly; but do not get discouraged when he reprimands you. For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons. Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness. So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again. Always be wanting peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord. Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.
- R) The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
1)My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
2) As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him; for he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.
3) But the love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear; his justice reaches out to children’s children when they keep his covenant in truth.
Gospel Acclamation: Mt 4:4
Alleluia, alleluia!Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 6:1-6
Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, holy Father, the offerings we bring in commemoration of the holy Martyrs, and grant that we, your servants, may be found steadfast in confessing your name. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lk 22: 28-30
It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, says the Lord, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.
Prayer after Communion
O God, who in your holy Martyrs have wonderfully made known the mystery of the Cross, graciously grant that, drawing strength from this sacrifice, we may cling faithfully to Christ and labour in the Church for the salvation of all. Through Christ our Lord.
Familiarity breeds contempt. Are you critical towards others, especially those who may be close to you? The most severe critics are often people very familiar to us. Jesus faced a severe testing when he returned to his home town, not simply as the carpenter’s son, but now as a rabbi with disciples. His hometown people listened to him with attention because they had heard about the miracles he had performed in other towns. What sign would he perform in his hometown? How familiarity can breed contempt! Jesus could do no mighty works in their midst because their minds were closed and they did not believe in him. In the same light, many of us are so familiar with the Church and her sacraments that we see no more meaning in them. We may be so close to the leaders of our church that we do not see them again as representatives of Christ. How do you treat those whom you are familiar with?