We may not always realize the influence we have on others
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions (February 6, 2020): 1 KGS 2:1-4,10-12; 1 CHR 29:10,11-12; MK 6:7-13
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
“You are God: we praise You.… The glorious company of apostles praise You.… The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.… Come then, Lord and help Your people, bought with the price of Your own blood, and bring us with Your saints to glory everlasting.”
These words from the ancient Christian hymn Te Deum are still offered to God in praise and thanksgiving. And it was sung over and over again on the long march of St. Paul Miki and his 25 companions on their way to their place of execution in 1597. They refused to give up their faith in Jesus Christ whom they had come to know and love. Japanese leaders distrusted the power of the Europeans who were coming in ever-greater numbers for trade and business as well as to open missions. In order to end their influence, persecutions of Catholics began. These Jesuit and Franciscan priests and brothers along with lay people, including three young boys, were crucified and finally pierced by a lance. Along the way they were offered many opportunities to turn away from Christ and His Church, but none did. This faithful group of martyrs were proclaimed saints two hundred and sixty five years later around the time that Japan reopened its doors to outsiders. It was also discovered that a number of hidden Christians remained in the country. They had kept their faith hidden and passed it along the generations.
Today’s Gospel recalls how Christ sent out His Apostles “Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.… So they went off and preached repentance” (Mark 6:7, 12). Let us remember that all disciples of our Redeemer are all called to share the Good News through our prayers, words and actions.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray to St. Paul Miki and Companions, asking them to guide the work of all the Church’s missions, and to help us spread our faith through our good example.