Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Paul Miki, and Comps., Mm (6th February, 2017) on the Gospel
(Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Gen 1:1-19;Ps 103:1-2.5-188.8.131.52.35 (R. v.31);
Saint Paul Miki was the son of a Japanese military leader. He was educated by Jesuits, joined the Jesuits in 1580, and became known for his eloquent preaching. He was crucified on Februay 5 with twenty-five other Catholics during the persecution of Christians under the Taiko, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, ruler of Japan in the name of the emperor. Among the Japanese laymen who suffered the same fate were: Francis, a carpenter; Gabriel, the nineteen year old son of the Franciscan's porter; Leo Kinuya, a twenty-eight year old carpenter from Miyako; Diego Kisai (or Kizayemon), temporal coadjutor of the Jesuits; Joachim Sakakibara, cook for the Franciscans at Osaka; Peter Sukejiro, sent by a Jesuit priest to help the prisoners; Cosmas Takeya; and Ventura, who had been baptized by the Jesuits, gave up his Catholicism on the death of his father, and was brought back to the Church by the Franciscans. They were all canonized as the Martyrs of Japan in 1862.
Topic: The Mighty Healer.
Jesus is seen in today’s gospel as the healer of every form of disease. On His arrival with His disciples to Gennesaret, people rushed about the whole region and brought those who were sick to Him wherever He was. They begged Him to allow the sick touch even the fringe of His cloak. And all who touched it were healed.
What people did in today’s gospel is a good picture of what many do today. Often scriptural passages like “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Matt 8:17) are used as back up. Indeed, Jesus healed so many people as one can see both in today’s gospel and so many other passages. However, we often forget that He healed the whole man. Hence sometimes while healing He would say, “your sins are forgiven”, cf. Matt 9:2.
People go far and near in search of bodily healing. Yet Jesus admonished us to fear what can destroy both soul and body in hell, cf. Matt 10:28; Lk 12:4. Many often neglect the state of their souls. Even most of the supposed healers preach virtually everything but repentance. Sin destroys both the soul and the body in hell, cf. 1Cor 11:27-30. Again, Matthew 8:17 often quoted especially while healing the body refers to Isaiah 53:4. This prophesy primarily refers to Christ’s death for our salvation. It is also synonymous with Jn 1:29.
In conclusion, as you search for the best of everything in this world – health, wealth, husband, wife, children, breakthroughs, and so on, remember Christ’s query: “what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Matt 16:26). Saint Paul Miki and his companions understood this so well and forfeited everything for the sake of Christ and His gospel.
Bible Reading: Is 6:9-10; 1Cor 11:27-30.
Thought for today: You are made of BODY and SOUL.
Let us pray: Lord, help us search for the good of both our body and our soul – Amen.
Saint Paul Miki and Companions – Pray for us.
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