Tuesday, February 05, 2019
WEDNESDAY, 4TH Week in Ordinary Time
February 6, 2019 – WEDNESDAY, 4TH Week in Ordinary Time
Sts. Paul Miki, Religious, and Companions
St. Pedro Bautista, Priest
Bl. Charles Spinola, Sebastian Kimura, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Heb 12: 4 - 7, 11 - 15 / Mk 6: 1 - 6
St. Paul Miki (1562 – 1622), a Japanese Jesuit scholastic, and 25 companions were martyred on crosses and then stabbed with spears in Nagasaki. Two other Jesuits in the group were Sts. John Soan de Goto (1578-1597), also a Jesuit scholastic, and James Kisai (1533 – 1597), a lay brother.
Among them also was St. Pedro Bautista (1542 – 1597), a Spanish Franciscan priest, who had previously worked for nine years in the Philippines.
Bl. Charles Spinola (1564 – 1622), an Italian Jesuit missionary to Japan, was martyred in Nagasaki with thirty other Jesuits, half of them Japanese. Among them also was Bl. Sebastian Kimura (1565 – 1622), a Jesuit priest and the first Japanese ordained a priest.
From the 1st Reading: Heb 12: 4 – 6
Have you already shed your blood in the struggle against sin? Do not forget the comforting words that Wisdom addresses to you as children: My son, pay attention when the Lord corrects you and do not be discouraged when he punishes you. For the Lord corrects those he loves and chastises everyone he accepts as a son. . . .
Gospel Reading: Mk 6: 1 – 6
Leaving that place, Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and most of those who heard him were astonished. But they said, "How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him, that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joset and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?" So they took offense at him.
And Jesus said to them, "Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives, and in their own family." And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people, by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief.
Who among us likes suffering and punishment? None, I presume. In the first reading, we hear, "The Lord trains the ones He loves and punishes the ones He acknowledges as His sons."
It is true that God can sometimes be exacting and hard on us, but didn't He allow His only Son to die on the cross for us? A true disciple of Jesus knows that sufferings are necessary to test one's faith and love for God. It is also true we are often not able to cope, but God in His mercy will raise us up from our failures and give us renewed strength and courage to face our sufferings.
We have not had to suffer till the point of dying for our sins (cf. Heb 12:4) so let us stand up to do battle with the enemy using the weapons of light
prayer, faith in God, zeal to announce the gospel and a deep and intimate love for Jesus.. The corrections and sufferings we have are meant to make us more holy, more humble. Also, trials and temptations keep our faith from becoming lukewarm.
Brothers and sisters, let our love for Jesus and Mary spur us on. Let us welcome daily trials and challenges as God's love for us and for the people for whom we suffer. Let us walk the hard and narrow path to reach the heavenly Jerusalem. This is what St. Paul Miki and his companions did. They willingly suffered and died for Christ who brought them immediately to his heavenly kingdom.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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