MONday 06 febRuary
Saint Paul Miki and compagnons, Martyrs
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; Genesis 1:1-19
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, and God’s spirit hovered over the water. God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light “day”, and darkness he called “night.” Evening came and morning came: the first day. God said, “Let there be a vault in the waters to divide the waters in two.” And so it was. God made the vault, and it divided the waters above the vault from the waters under the vault. God called the vault “heaven.” Evening came and morning came: the second day. God said, “Let the waters under heaven come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear.” And so it was. God called the dry land “earth” and the mass of waters “seas”, and God saw that it was good. God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their seed inside, on the earth.” And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the third day. God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth.” And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth, to govern the day and the night and to divide light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the fourth day.
R/ May the Lord rejoice in his works!
Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are, clothed in majesty and glory, wrapped in light as in a robe!
You founded the earth on its base, to stand firm from age to age. You wrapped it with the ocean like a cloak: the waters stood higher than the mountains.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow in between the hills. On their banks dwell the birds of heaven; from the branches they sing their song.
How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches. Bless the Lord, my soul!
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 8: 12
Alleluia, alleluia! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; anyone who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia!
Gospel; Mark 6: 53-56
Having made the crossing, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up. No sooner had they stepped out of the boat than people recognised him, and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, to village, or town, or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were cured.
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 story of creation is lovely and follows a poetic narration. It reminds us that God is in all things. Be good stewards of the earth and all plants and animals. Your care for each other is mirrored in this. You echo God’s stewardship when you try to make the world better. The creation story is one to remember when you are careless about the earth or people. Jesus took care of people in desperate situations. In the Gospel, Jesus is popular among the ordinary people of Galilee. He attracted the sick and broken; God’s healing power worked in him. The poor and the needy were desperate to get to and connect with him. In our lives, it is in our brokenness that we seek the Lord with the greatest urgency. Something uncovers and activates our vulnerability, our weakness, our inability to cope. Then we come face to face with our limitations and frailties, we realize our need for the Lord and our dependence on him; we seek the Lord with greater energy. It is often the darker and more painful experiences of life that open us up to the Lord.