February 6, 2014

St. Paul Miki and Companions

February 6, 2014:  St. Paul Miki and Companions, martyrs

Wordle: Readings 2-6-14Readings

  • 1 Kgs 2:1-4, 10-12  David, dying, instructed Solomon:  “Take courage. Keep the mandate of the Lord, that you may succeed, and the Lord may fulfill his promise to keep one of our line on the throne.”  David rested with his ancestors after his 40-year reign.  Solomon was seated on the throne, his sovereignty firmly established.
  • Mk 6:7-13  Jesus sent out the Twelve two by two with authority over unclean spirits. “Take nothing but a walking stick.  When you enter a house, stay there.  Where they don't welcome or listen to you, leave and shake the dust off your feet.”  They went off and preached repentance, driving out many demons and curing many who were sick.
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  Though King David was a sinner, he wasn't a traitor and remained in the heart of his people.  Ask God for the grace to die within the heart of the Church.  We're sinners, but the Church, like a mother, takes us as we are and makes us clean.
David dies in peace, certain that he'll be with his ancestors.  Ask for the grace to die in hope that our home and family will be waiting for us.  As St. Therese of Lisieux approached death, she felt the struggle between good and evil and heard the devil telling her nothing but darkness awaited her; he didn't want her to trust in God.  To die in hope, start by trusting God in the difficulties we encounter daily, so our hope grows and we become accustomed to trusting in the Lord.
David left his legacy to his son, telling him to follow the Lord.  What legacy will we leave?  Have we done good, brought life and wisdom, and planted a tree?  Our legacy is the Christian witness we give others, just as the Saints lived the Gospel and left us a path to follow.
  • Pontifical Council for Social Communications on Pope Francis's World Youth Day message re “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” a central point of reference in a Christian’s life:  Jesus showed the way by living the Beatitudes.  It's a challenge for young people to follow Jesus, go against the tide and be witnesses of revolutionary innovation.  You can't be a real Christian and think small; resist “low cost” offers of happiness and have courage to be truly happy, a gift only God can give.
Imitate Jesus who chose the way of poverty, as St. Francis did.  Embrace a Gospel lifestyle of moderation seeking the essential, in solidarity with the poor who are the “suffering flesh” of Christ we're called to touch; they have much to offer.  We need Gospel poverty to spread the Kingdom; evangelization depends on true joy, and often only the most simple of hearts express it.  [I plan a mini-series on his actual message after the one on Gospel Joy, nearing a close.]
Ecumenical dialogue:  The credibility of the Christian message would be much greater if we Christians overcame our divisions.  We’re journeying alongside each other; we must trust our fellow pilgrims and look to what we all seek:  God’s face. Ecumenism is a contribution to the unity of the human family; the counter-witness of our divisions makes striving for unity more urgent.  If we concentrate on the convictions we share and keep in mind the hierarchy of truths, we’ll progress towards common expressions of proclamation, service, and witness. Commitment to unity that helps others accept Jesus Christ is indispensable to evangelization.  Many important things unite us!  We can learn much from one another, exchanging the gifts the Spirit has sown and being Spirit-led into fuller truth and goodness.  (4.IV, 244-46, pp. 182-84)
    • Creighton:  Jesus sends us out in simplicity, carrying faith and trust.  Jesus told the disciples, “Leave and shake the dust...,” not “Stay until they repent,” or “slip out quietly.”  Dialogue needs wisdom, courage, and sensitivity.  Speak out, but with a discerning heart resting in divine truth; invite, and leave it to God to change people.
    • One Bread One Body:  Jesus sends us out without food, luggage, money, or clothes but with another disciple, authority, a walking stick, and sandals.  We proceed as brothers and sisters, trusting in God, to destroy evil.  To go forth in Jesus' name, our lives need restructuring.
    • Passionist:   King David's end is King Solomon's beginning.  Watch for prophet Elijah.  Jesus sent the Twelve to preach, call to repentance, liberate, and heal—to make the Kingdom real in lives.  He linked power and authority with love and humility.  Are we actively inviting people to new life?  Are we a healing force?
    • Universalis:  St. Paul Miki, Jesuit missionary to Japan, martyred with 25 including St. Philip of Jesus.
    Music inspired by gospel
    • Two by two, from Book of Mormon/ Stone, Parker, Lopez
    • Two by two, from Two by Two/ Charnin, Rogers (really about the ark)

    • "Houses" tie:  Apostles staying at/leaving houses (gospel)
    "Wear sandals" (gospel)
    • Tie bar with two stones:  Jesus sent them two by two (gospel)
    • Tree pin:  material to make their walking sticks (gospel)
    • Red shirt:  martyrdom of St. Paul Miki and companions

    Dress your life!

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