February 6, 2018

Paul Miki &

February 6, 2018:  St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen
For Psalm 84

Read

  • 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30  Solomon:  Lord God, you keep your covenant of mercy with your faithful.  Can it be that God dwells on earth?  If the heavens can't contain you, how much less this temple!  Listen to my prayer; watch over this temple.
  • Ps 84:3-5, 10-11  "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!"  My heart and flesh cry out for God.  Blessed they who dwell in your house!
  • Mk 7:1-13  Pharisees and scribes, observing that some of Jesus' disciples ate with unwashed hands, asked him why they didn't follow tradition.  Jesus:  “Hypocrites, you set aside God’s command to cling to human tradition.”
Reflect
  • Creighton:  ntentions may become lost in daily practices.  Solomon is humble while dedicating the temple, stretching his hands toward heaven in submission and openness, and asking for forgiveness.  The psalm is a prayer of love of devotion.  The leaders in the gospel don't show the same humility; they seem to have decided to discredit Jesus.  Jesus distinguishes the basis of tradition from how tradition has come to be practiced.
My best moments at work have been when a fire was burning in me and I put in more than could be expected.  But realities creep in, things become institutionalized, people need to move on, the fire fades, and things become routine.  In my marriage there are moments of enthusiasm and acts of commitment, and dry spells where other aspects of life distract from my relationship, and the distractions take their toll.  When I do things out of duty, I fall into the mold of those religious leaders.  As we remember SS. Paul Miki and his martyr-companions, may we have the kind of strength they had to act out their deep sense of what's important.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Traditional?"  Divine traditions—the Bible and the magisterium—are true and can't be changed; we must conform our lives to them.  Human traditions are often helpful, but they can become diabolical strongholds; we should respect them but not place them above divine traditions.  The Church can authoritatively tell us what tradition is divine, and whether a human tradition is good....
  • Passionist:  The Jewish ritual of handwashing and vessel purification originated to express reverence and love for God, but the meaning became forgotten, though Pharisees continued to impose the rule, empty and oppressive though it was.  They were scandalized that Jesus’ disciples ate their meal with unclean hands.  The Greek ('ate breads') links this dispute with the Jesus' feeding the 5,000 who 'ate breads.'  Though the crowd had no way to wash their hands, the Pharisees challenged Jesus on this breach of tradition.  Jesus responded by calling them hypocrites ('stage actors'), whose apparent piety disguised empty hearts and ritual; he rejected their human tradition and hypocrisy.  We too may risk making meaningful traditions and disciplines empty, but ritual can transform us only we're grounded in God’s love....
    St. Paul Miki and companions
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Rejecting God's commandments":  The Jews took pains to ensure their worship conformed to the instructions God gave Moses on Sinai.  God called his people to holiness, but in their zeal for holiness many developed burdensome traditions.  The Scribes and Pharisees, upset with Jesus because he allowed his disciples to break with their traditions, sent a delegation to accuse Jesus face to face.  Jesus went to the heart of the matter:  God's purpose for the commandments.  Jesus gave an example of how their use of tradition excused them from the commandment to honor one's parents; he said they voided God's command because they let their own notion of religion cloud their hearts and minds.  He accused them of hypocrisy and of replacing God's word with their own arguments and interpretations, referring to Isaiah's prophetic accusation of honoring God with their lips while their hearts went astray.  If we listen to God with faith and reverence, it will enlighten our mind, purify our heart, and enable us to understand how he wants us to love and obey him...."
  • Universalis:  St. Paul Miki, Jesuit priest, missionary to Japan, with 25 companions, martyrs, with 6 Franciscan missionaries including Peter Baptista and catechist and trader Gonsalo Garcia, 3 more Jesuits including Philip of Jesus, and 17 laymen including 3 boys.
Dress legend
  • 'Bird' pin:  Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Lord, my king and my God! (psalm)
  • 'Car with lips' pin:  "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me"
  • 'Hands' tie:  Solomon stretched his hands towards heaven (1st reading); "I behold the work of your fingers" (psalm); scribes and Pharisees noticed disciples eating with unwashed hands (gospel)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Solomon's wisdom (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "May your eyes watch over this temple" (1st reading)
  • 'Castle' pin:  Blessed they who dwell in your house (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  My heart and my flesh cry out for God (psalm); "this people's hearts are far from me" (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Why don't your disciples wash their hands?" (gospel)
  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Martyrdom of St. Paul Miki +25
  • 'Camera' tie pin:  remembering Tom O'Neill's 1977 Christmas ornament of St. Paul Miki wearing a made-in-Japan camera
  • 'Star' tie pin (oops; forgot):  "You set the stars in place" (psalm)