thursday 06 February 2020
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 St. 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: 1 Kings 2:1-4,10-12
As David’s life drew to its close he laid this charge on his son Solomon, ‘I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and show yourself a man. Observe the injunctions of the Lord your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his customs and his decrees, as it stands written in the Law of Moses, that so you may be successful in all you do and undertake, so that the Lord may fulfil the promise he made me, “If your sons are careful how they behave, and walk loyally before me with all their heart and soul, you shall never lack for a man on the throne of Israel.”’ So David slept with his ancestors and was buried in the Citadel of David. David’s reign over Israel lasted forty years: he reigned in Hebron for seven years, and in Jerusalem for thirty-three. Solomon was seated upon the throne of David, and his sovereignty was securely established.
1 Chronicles 29:10-12
R/ You, Lord, are the ruler of all
- May you be blessed, O Lord, the God of Israel our ancestor, forever, for ages unending.
- Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, splendour, length of days, glory.
- Yours is the sovereignty, O Lord; you are exalted over all, supreme.
- Riches and honour go before you, you are ruler of all, in your hand lie strength and power; in your hand it is to give greatness and strength to all.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 15:15
Alleluia, alleluia! I call you friends, says the Lord, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 6:7-13
Jesus made a tour round the villages, teaching. Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic.’ And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.
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.
The instructions of Jesus to his disciples sound rather strange, especially if we listen to them against the background of our own times. How can his disciples go out, taking nothing with them, except a staff? A staff does not only give them the support they need to trek over hills and valleys; it also seems to be an indispensable symbol of a pastor. Can you imagine a herdsman without a walking stick, the same stick with which he gives direction and instruction to the cattle? Jesus is fully aware of the fact that God moves the hearts of those who welcome his word to take care of the preachers of the word. A true disciple of Jesus, a true pastor, bothers about how to pass across the message of the Good News in its entirety, not about what to wear or eat.