St. Paul Miki and Companions (1564/6 – 1597)
Born in Japan, he joined the Society of Jesus. When a persecution of Catholics arose, he was arrested 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:Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21
Through Christ, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name. Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are sacrifices that please God. Obey your leaders and do as they tell you, because they must give an account of the way they look after your souls; make this a joy for them to do, and not a grief – you yourselves would be the losers. I pray that the God of peace, who brought our Lord Jesus back from the dead to become the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant, may make you ready to do his will in any kind of good action; and turn us all into whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
R/ The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
1. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
2. He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
3. You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
4. Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Lk8:15
Alleluia, alleluia! Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart,
take the word of God to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
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.
Many of us find resting unimportant. We believe we ought to work constantly. The Lord calls his apostles to take time off and rest. If you work constantly you wear yourself out and eventually become incapacitated for the work you want to do, and then the people you work for eventually do not have the best of you. The reading also tells us that the Lord will never leave his flock unattended. The work of God is not dependent on any man’s ability (to work without rest). It is dependent on God himself and he will take care of his sheep.