ST PAUL MIKI AND COMPANIONS M.M. (Memorial) Red
Paul Miki the son of the military leader Miki Handyu was one of the martyrs of Nagasaki, Japan. He was called to the religious life as a Jesuit priest in 1580. During his successful evangelism, Christianity encountered a hostile political climate. He was arrested and on his way to martyrdom with some other Christians, they sang the ‘Te Deum.’ Paul Miki’s last sermon was delivered from the cross: “The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the Doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason that I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”
First Reading: Gen 1:1-19; Psalm: 104. R. v. 31b; Gospel: Mk 6:53-56
WHAT ARE WE KNOWN FOR?
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognised him” (Mk 6:54).
People are easily recognised either for something good or bad. And to be recognised, we have to first of all be noticed or identified for something. To be noticed, there must be something significant or important regarding our personality or identity that catches the attention of people. If for instance we remained withdrawn in a gathering or among a people, we may not really be noticed. But if there was something about us that stands out, people will easily notice us. And once we are noticed for something, recognition is established.
The good deeds of Jesus were something that was open to all to see. His teachings, healings, and care for the poor and the marginalised made a good number of people notice and recognised him not only as the Messiah but also as a great healer. So everywhere he went, he was easily recognised by the people who brought their sick to him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment and be healed. What we are known and recognised for can affect our world either positively or negatively.
So, what are we known for? How do we affect the people in the environments or places where we live and work? To change our world, we don’t really need to do much. We just need to be good and our good deeds will do the job. Just as the people were attracted to Jesus because of his goodness; so are good deeds contagious. As Paul Miki was dying on the cross because of his faith in Christ Jesus, these were his last words, “I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” Every Christian should know that any good deed done for the sake of the gospel, serves as a fruitful rain producing more good deeds.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus Christ, increase our desire to do good always and everywhere. Amen.