February 6, 2015

Paul Miki et soc.

February 6, 2015:  St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Let brotherly love continue (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Some have entertained angels (1st reading)
  • 'Question mark' tie pin:  King Herod was perplexed (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Herod gave a banquet... (gospel)
  • 'Headless skeleton' tie pin:  ...and had John beheaded (gospel)
  • Red shirt:  Martyrdom of St. Paul Miki +25 (today's memorial), +today's martyrs (Pope's homily) 
  • 'Camera' tie pin:  remembering Tom O'Neill's 1977 Christmas ornament of St. Paul Miki wearing a made-in-Japan camera

For the psalm

    • The Lord is my Light, from I will bless the Lord at all times/ Haas (newer, related but different)

  • Dance of the Seven Veils, from Salome/ Strauss (gospel):  no link because I marked this site as free of adult content
Pope Francis homily
John the Baptist never betrayed his vocation; he always proclaimed the Messiah was at hand.  He was aware he was only a voice, because the Word was Someone Else, and he ended his life like Jesus, martyred.  When he ended up in prison at Herod's hands,  the "greatest man born of woman" became very small.  He was struck by a dark night of the soul, doubting Jesus is the One he prepared the way for, and again when he met his end.  After John's ongoing slide into nothingness and the path towards annihilation of Jesus, his life ends, under the authority of a mediocre, corrupt king, at the whim of a dancer and an adulteress's vindictive hatred.
I think of today's martyrs, persecuted, hated, driven out, tortured, massacred, meeting their end under the authority of corrupt people who hate Christ.  Today we remember Paul Miki of 1600, but think of our martyrs of 2015.  The abasement of "John the Great" makes me think we're all on this road.  I too will meet my end.  No one can "buy" their life.  All of us are travelling on the road of the annihilation of life; it  makes me pray it's as similar as possible to Jesus Christ's.
  • Heb 13:1-8  Let brotherly love continue.  Don't neglect hospitality, through which some have entertained angels.  Remember prisoners and the ill-treated.  Honor marriage and be faithful.  Don't love money; be content with what you have.  Remember your leaders who spoke God's word to you; imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
    Wordle: Readings 2-6-15
  • Ps 27:1, 3, 5, 8b-9abc  "The Lord is my light and my salvation."  Whom should I fear?  You'll shelter me.  I seek You.
  • Mk 6:14-29  King Herod heard Jesus called John the Baptist raised from the dead, Elijah, or a prophet.  Herod liked to hear John but wanted to kill him because he said it wasn't lawful for him to have his brother’s wife.  At Herod's birthday banquet after his daughter's dance, he promised her anything.  She asked her mother what to ask for, then ask her dad for John's head.  Distressed though he was, he had him killed and brought her the head.  John's disciples came and buried him.
    • Creighton:  Jesuit novice Paul Miki was crucified with 25 others, singing hymns to God on their crosses.  “The sentence of judgment says we came to Japan from the Philippines, but I didn't; I'm a true Japanese.  I'm only being killed because I taught Christ....  Ask Christ to help you become happy.  I don't hate my persecutors; I forgive them.  I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall as a fruitful rain.”
      Salome with the head of
      John the Baptist/ Caravaggio
    • One Bread One Body:  "Pure courage":  John the Baptist had the love and courage to tell Herod:  "It's wrong for you to live with your brother's wife." The writer of Hebrews had the love and courage to teach:  "Honor marriage and keep the marriage bed undefiled."  Paul proclaimed, "No lustful person—an idolater—has an inheritance in the kingdom...."  Jesus, Truth and Love, taught, "If you look lustfully at a woman, you've committed adultery with her....  If your eye is your trouble, gouge it out!"  Be pure and call others to purity.  Stand up for purity; stand up for life.
    • Passionist:  Truth mattered to John, but anger and resentment blinded Herodias from accepting it.  We can feel we're in a pressure-cooker with deadlines and responsibilities at work, in family, with friends..., pressured to conform/compromise.  Do I make decisions manipulated by pressure instead of based on the truth of Christ?  Jesus suffered and died because he stood for God's truth.  But God's forgiveness and presence is truer than any pressure.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Do I rely on God's grace to choose holiness and reject compromise?  Herod had everything he wanted but a clear conscience.  John Chrysostom re death of John the Baptist:
    "How was this just man harmed by imprisonment and violent death?  Who didn't he set back on their feet—provided they were penitent—from what he spoke, suffered, and still proclaimsmdash;the message he preached while living.  So don't say, "Why was he allowed to die?"  It wasn't a death but a crown, not an end but the beginning of greater life.  Think and live like a Christian; you won't only stay unharmed by these events but will reap the benefits."  (On the Providence of God 22.10, paraphrased)

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